Listening to the Father's Heart - February 9
Son, I want you to understand that life without hardship is not a sign of my blessing. In fact, it is often just the opposite; the greater the call, the greater the adversity. Such was the case for my son Paul. My, what hardship he endured for me. Never did he view this as a lack of my love or protection. He actually desired to identify with the sufferings of my Son (Phil 3:10) and to be able to comfort others who needed comforting. "...Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Cor 1:4). This suffering helps you avoid the idolatry of self-reliance and allows you to trust me completely (Phil 3:3-4).
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9