Joseph has been through a lot of hardship! His brothers considered killing him. Instead they sold him to a group of traders. They sold him as a slave in Egypt. And there he was falsely accused and sent to prison. Why was this happening? We often ask that same question: why is this happening? We try to do right, but we still face trials and suffering. We experience loss and broken relationships and unrealized dreams. Why does God allow it (or even cause it)?
God Places Us in Times of Hardship:
To Test Our Faith and Character
God places us in difficult circumstances to test the validity of our faith. But the test is not for His benefit. He already knows what the outcome will be. The test is for our benefit. It shows us clearly whether our faith is truly genuine. But what is the test?
God also brings hardship into our lives in order to show what we really love. How we respond to those trials shows where are loyalties really lie.
For Sanctification and Growth
God uses the difficult times in our lives in various ways to perfect us and cause us to grow. Trials teach us obedience. They teach us humility. They teach us to depend on God. And they teach us to focus on God’s kingdom and not on this world.
That We Might Minister to Others
In addition to testing our faith and causing us to grow, hardship can help us to minister to others. They make us more sensitive to the needs of others. They equip us to better serve others. And they often put us in the position to be available to others.