Is It God’s Plan or Our Own Choices? 12 Reasons God Allows Hardships

🌺  Written by Jessica Clark

In life, we all encounter difficult times that make us wonder why they happen. Do they come from God’s plan or our own decisions? This article dives into this question and explores 12 reasons why God lets us go through tough times.

As we go through challenges, it’s important to understand why they occur. Join us as we uncover the wisdom behind hardships and learn from life’s toughest moments.

1. Hardships Build Our Faith

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On a popular social media thread, some Christians have stated why they believe God allows us to go through hardships. One commenter mentioned that hardships build character, faith, and the fruit of the spirit.

2. Hardships Help Us to Be More Like Christ

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Another commenter said that maybe suffering helps people become more like Christ. Romans 5:3-5 talks about how there can be a silver lining even in tough times. It says that going through difficulties can make people stronger and more patient, which in turn builds their character.

As a result, they find hope. And this hope is solid because it comes from God’s love, which He shares with them through the Holy Spirit.

3. Hardships Produce Endurance

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One commenter simply recited the following Bible verse: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

4. Hardships Teach Us Compassion

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Another commenter shared that God uses broken things to build the strongest testimonies. They mentioned that experiencing temporary homelessness can help you gain understanding and compassion for those who are homeless. Similarly, facing a chronic illness can enable you to provide reasons for hope and support to those who haven’t embraced Christ.

This goes beyond just difficult times. All aspects of human life can be valuable tools for God to connect with people facing similar situations through the message of the gospel.

5. Hardships Allow Us to Be Rewarded in the End

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Someone else commented that Christ’s teachings didn’t promise a smooth journey during difficult times, but they did offer the assurance of a safe arrival once the challenges had passed. You can find more about this promise in the Book of Job.

6. Hardships Produce Perseverance

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Another commenter simply recited the following Bible verse: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

7. Hardships Teach Us What Christ Had to Endure

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One other commenter mentioned that in our world, sin has a strong presence, but they believe it’s important to find a way to cope with it. It’s worth noting that God, in the form of a human, experienced the most profound suffering. This included emotional and physical pain and even death, just as everyone will eventually experience.

8. Hardships Bring Us Closer to God

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Another commenter stated that, as someone who faces daily pain, they’ve learned that suffering, regardless of its source, can draw people closer to God. Whether due to the sinful world or other reasons, suffering often makes individuals feel helpless, creating the perfect moment for God to connect with them.

While God could use supernatural means, He often prefers to communicate through human experiences. In their own life, they’ve noticed that intense pain heightens their awareness of their need for God, making it easier to rely on Him in moments of helplessness.

9. Hardships Are Just Part of Being Christian

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Someone else in the thread mentioned that they wondered if it’s reasonable to think that, since Jesus faced suffering and told his followers to bear their own burdens, we should anticipate going through tough times, too.

Not only do they believe we will experience challenges, but they also pointed out that the Bible indicates we will share in Christ’s inheritance, meaning we can enjoy His glory and light, but also, maybe, the difficult parts of His journey.

10. Hardships Can Be a Blessing

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Another commenter stated that hardships can be viewed in different ways. For example, they can be viewed as the consequences of choices or opportunities to grow closer to God. They may also serve as discipline or guard hidden blessings.

Regardless of perspective, enduring hardships with faith and prayer can reveal blessings and provide strength. Prioritizing one’s relationship with God is essential, and it can transform hardships into chances for growth and blessings.

11. Hardships Remind Us of Our Free Will

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Someone else on the thread mentioned that pain is an inherent part of a world where we believe in a kind and loving God and where people have the freedom to make choices.

In this world, our choices can lead to both good and bad outcomes, and pain results from those consequences. It’s not a sign that God is unkind; rather, it reminds us that our decisions matter and we play a role in shaping our experiences.

12. Hardships Strengthen Our Spirit

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Another commenter stated that hardships can make us stronger, much like the seed story in the Bible, where deep roots lead to resilience.

These challenges act as a crucible for personal growth, revealing inner strength and endurance and ultimately fostering a stronger sense of purpose and resilience.

How to Respond When God Allows Trauma

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If you’ve been through the unthinkable, please know that your story doesn’t have to end in pain in trauma.

For the truly inspiring, incredible story of how one woman is thriving after an assault, be sure to read this article.

How to Respond When God Allows Trauma.

Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers? (6 Biblical Reasons)

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Do you feel angry, hurt, disappointed, or confused because God hasn’t answered your prayers the way you want Him to? There may be a very good reason why He hasn’t.

6 Biblical Reasons God Doesn’t Answer Our Prayers.

10 Bible Verses About Trusting God in Difficult Times

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When you’re going through trials and suffering, Scripture verses about trusting God in difficult times can be such a comfort. The Bible’s whole narrative is about humanity’s journey in trusting their Creator.

Meditate on and pray through these verses about trusting God in difficult times when you need a reminder about the big picture: God’s story, what He’s doing in the world, His boundless grace and mercy, and how much you matter to Him.

10 Bible Verses About Trusting God in Difficult Times

How to Trust God’s Plan – When You Don’t Know What it is

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Do you ever struggle to trust God’s plan for you or to wait patiently on His timing?

It’s difficult when you want answers, for the pain to go away, or to step into a new and exciting future.

Thankfully, waiting doesn’t have to be a painful season. It can be an exciting season of growth while you prepare for whatever God has for you next.

How to Trust God’s Plan – When You Don’t Know What it is

What is God’s Will for Your Life? Here’s How to Find Out

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Have you ever wondered, “What is God’s will for my life?”

If so, check out these 5 ways to help you determine what He wants for your life.

How to Know God’s Will for Your Life

Jessica Clark

About the author

Jessica Clark is a mother and wife residing in Nebraska. She has passionately pursued her love for blogging since 2011. You can find Jessica's articles for Equipping Godly Women here.

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