Some of the most effective witnesses are those who have gone through painful, trying circumstances. Consider how the gospel has spread in parts of the world that are poor, oppressed, and troubled. Or think of your response to the triumphant stories of former criminals, abuse victims, and religious prisoners. God’s power is manifest in man’s weakest moments.
Whether believers develop into stronger witnesses as a result of difficulties depends on their response to crisis. Many people make the mistake of focusing on the will of man instead of God’s sovereignty. Then they find it impossible to believe that God will bring positive results from their pain.
Those who rise above their circumstances understand that God uses every experience for good (Rom. 8:28). To trust that principle, we must realize that anything we experience is under the authority of a kind, loving Father. Paul’s time in prison yielded better and more abundant fruit than he could have produced any other way (Phil. 1:13). He spread the gospel to the most elite Roman soldiers because he was chained to one after another every day for years. As we turn our attention to Christ, He reveals opportunities for impacting people with the gospel. These are often chances we wouldn’t have had apart from trying circumstances.
You are always in God’s hand. Focusing upon His sovereign will and the good He has in store for you is not easy in hard times. I understand. But I also know that God never allows anything to touch us that He will not turn to our benefit and the good of His kingdom.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.