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Wednesday, May 10, 2023

How God Uses Grief to Help Me Grow

In Romans 8:28 I read, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (NIV)

Grief, loss, and pain are inevitable parts of life. God uses these things to help me grow. He does it in three ways.

First, God uses pain to get my attention. C. S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain.” Pain is God’s megaphone. I rarely change when I see the light. But I do change when I feel the heat.

Proverbs 20:30 says, “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways” (GNT).

Second, God brings good out of bad. One of the most famous verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (NIV).

When I experience a loss, it’s an opportunity to grow in character. I can’t control the pain I go through, but I can decide whether it’s going to make me bitter or better. I decide whether it’s going to be a stepping stone or a stumbling block. Remember that, even in my pain, God is working for my good.

Third, God prepares me for eternity. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. This is why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen” (CEV).

I won’t be taking money or possessions to heaven, but I am taking my character (me). God is more interested in my character development than in my comfort. This is because when I get to heaven, I’ll have plenty of time to be comfortable. But life on Earth is the get-ready stage; it’s the learning phase or the warm-up act. God uses my troubles here on Earth to get me ready for eternal glory. That’s a comfort.

So when I’m in pain, I need to ask, “What is God doing?” Is he trying to get my attention? Is he trying to bring good out of bad? Is he preparing my character for heaven? I can trust him through it all.

God works in "everything", not just isolated incidents, all of this is for my good. God is not working to make me happy, but to fulfill his purpose. I am learning to trust in God and not in life's treasures. My security is in heaven, not on earth. My faith should not waver in pain and persecution, because I know that God is with me.