My three year old recently had his tonsils out.  We made the hard decision to do it because of sleep apnea and the damage it was doing to his body.  We knew it was the right decision, but the 10 days post-surgery were the hardest days of his little life.  He refused pain medicine, refused water, and was all-in-all miserable. I tried coaxing.  I tried hiding the medicine in yummy treats. I tried bribing.  This kid was stubborn and he thought the short term pain of sipping was worth refusing to feel better.  As the mom, of course I knew better.  It broke my heart to see him in pain, and so lifeless from dehydration.  I had to keep my head level too about “Did I make the right decision?”  After the misery was over, the boy slept amazing and my husband and I knew that the hard process was worth it.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God tells us that he knows our future much better than we do.  He is not in the business of knocking us over, tearing us down, or trying to destroy us.  Quite the contrary.

Synonyms for prosper are flourish, succeed, bloom, thrive.  God’s desire for us is to prosper.

The hard times we face on the earth are to sanctify us to be more like the people he desires for us to be.  We need not be confused with difficult times building our character and God trying to smite us.  Just as the difficult time my son had post-surgery, so are our difficult times making us more like Christ.  The outcome is so much greater than the pain we are currently going through. Our eyes need to be focused on walking in accordance to Christ and less on our situation.  We need to know that God only wants what is best for us and knows what is best for us, beyond our limited sight.

Where can you see God’s hand working through your pain?