How do you generally respond when life takes a turn for the worse…despite your faithfulness and your obedience to the Lord? Have you ever asked, “Lord, is this what I get for doing what is right?” How can we get through these “dark nights” in our spiritual life? Are they normal or abnormal?
Unfortunately, it appears that the Scriptures teach us that certain character traits and maturity levels can only be reached as we go through suffering (Romans 5:1-5; James 1:2-4; I Peter 4:12-19). What was the Lord preparing Joseph to be and to do?
In what ways has the Lord shaped and molded your character through suffering. “Life wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t expect it to be so easy!” What role do our expectations play in how we handle the dark times? Do you have biblically realistic expectations for your Christian life? Given the reality of “trouble” in our lives in this world (John 16:33), how can we keep from giving in to despair?
“Those whom God uses greatly, he first wounds deeply.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? In what ways can our woundedness make us more effective for the sake of His Kingdom?