It is not natural for us to look at suffering and trial we pass through, as tools in God’s hands that He uses to produce character. John Piper says that “this is the first purpose of missionary suffering; to wean us from the world and set our hope fully in God alone.” If we really desire to reach the unreached with the gospel of Christ, we will “rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Why is this so important? We live in a world with ever increasing distractions and I believe, from my own experience, that God uses suffering to refocus our attention on our real calling and purpose. If we let the world dictate our priorities, our passion for the gospel will quickly decline and we become unfruitful and ineffective.
Are you allowing trials to develop your character and sharpen your vision, or are you getting more and more distracted?
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