Kids & Youth
It is well with my soul
Every year high school seniors worldwide take part in what is known as ‘Senior Superlatives.’ From ‘most likely to be a doctor’ to ‘most likely to be an actor,’ from ‘most likely to be a social media star’ to ‘most likely to succeed,’ these superlatives run the gamut of everything you can think of. They all fall under one overarching theme, though – ‘being destined for greatness.’ What is not there in this rather long list of superlatives is ‘Most Destined for Trials.’ The word ‘destined’ itself implies something great. However, in 1 Thessalonians 3:3, the word is used rather jarringly. Apostle Paul reminds us that we should not be unsettled by trials because we are “destined” for them.
The truth is that no one wants to be destined for trials – big or small because we know that trials bring with it – disappointment, anger, and frustration. It forces us to experience an assault on our very being. Not a single person could blame us for feeling unsettled in the face of trial. For who among us would willingly say, “Lord, here I am ready to face whatever trial you send my way”? Yet the Bible is full of characters who, through their actions and willingness to place their trust in God, did just that.
Take Daniel, for example. He could have saved himself a terrifying experience in the lion’s den if he had just followed King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree and stopped praying for 30 days. Then there’s Joseph, whose first exposure to facing trials comes from within his own family, and David, who becomes Saul’s target at a very young age and remains so for several years. And perhaps one of the greatest examples of all – Job, whose problems begin after God presents him to Satan as a paragon of virtue.
Despite their trials and tribulations, Daniel, Joseph, David, and Job have this inherent belief that their God has not forsaken them. They recognize that these unsettling trials are meant to serve a greater purpose, and it humbles them when they realize that anointing does not preclude them from adversity. Instead, even in their darkest moments, they accept that these trials are meant to serve a multifold purpose:
- To prepare them for their future role.
- To help them understand that a life of servitude requires that you be battle-tested.
- To instill in them core values and refine their character.
- To bring them to their knees so that they turn to God in good times and bad.
- To put them front and center stage to witness God’s magnificence.
Ultimately, the trials that these men face teach us a far more powerful lesson. That “those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30 NIV). Let us, too, then accept that we have been destined for this when we are in the midst of a trial. That God, in His infinite wisdom, has a master plan that he will unveil in due time. He is not punishing us, but rather training us to wholeheartedly believe and say, “It is well with my soul.”
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