“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11Romans 5:1-8
If left to myself, I will focus completely on my own comfort and not worry much about God’s development of my character. We tend to do the same thing with our prayers to God—viewing Him as our servant whose job is to make us more comfortable. But we need to move beyond this desire for comfort to a desire for godly character.
C.S Lewis notes that in order to do this, God jolts our world. “I suggest to you that it is because God loves us that he gives us the gift of suffering. Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. You see, we are like blocks of stone out of which the Sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of the chisel, which hurt us so much, are what make us perfect” (1940).
Rehabilitation after a massive stroke has sometimes felt like the blows of a chisel. But I take comfort knowing God is shaping me through the pain. Are you facing harsh circumstances? Know that He is using your difficulties for His purposes. Your comfort may be entirely gone, but in character you are becoming more like Him each day.
Jesus never promised us a life of total comfort. But thank God He has promised to never leave us or forsake us!