From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Nowhere in the Bible does it promise those who believe in God that they will be exempt from trouble. In fact, there is not one story in all of Scripture where God’s people did not experience turmoil and heartache of some kind. The story of Job is a prime example, but Job declared that through his tribulation he would come forth as gold (Job 23:10). Dealing with difficulties is what makes us strong.
Dr. M. R. DeHaan gave a memorable analogy of this principle many years ago. “It is said that a bar of steel worth $5 when made into ordinary horseshoes will be worth only $10. If this same $5 bar is manufactured into needles, the value rises to $350, but if it is made into delicate springs for expensive watches, it will be worth $250,000. This original bar of steel is made more valuable by being cut to its proper size, passed through the heat again and again, hammered and polished, until it is finally ready for its delicate task.”
These prices would be much more today, of course, but the point the same, illustrating the truth that God’s discipline and chastening builds Christian character, enabling us to demonstrate our faith in God, in His purposes for our lives, and builds us up with stronger faith in Him.
Many Christians miss this important lesson and find themselves depressed and bitter. Instead, we should all see troubled times as stepping stones, knowing that whatever we encounter in this life, we do not walk the pathway alone. God is with His people every step of the way to bring glory and honor to Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)