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Trials, Tribulations, and God's Purpose

by David A. DePra

Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. (Job 5:7)

     If there is one thing life holds for all of us, it is trouble. There is no

one excepted. You do not have to be a Christian to find trouble. In

fact, trouble will find you. It is as sure as sparks fly upward from a fire.

     The Bible takes trouble for granted. So did Jesus. He said, "In the

world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome

the world." Jesus doesn't talk of the "if" of trials and trouble. He talks

only about WHEN.

     Now, despite the fact that trouble is not limited to those who are

Christian, it is nevertheless a fact that Christians will have certain

kinds of trouble which non-Christians will not have. And more

importantly, the USE of the trouble in the life of the Christian makes

it stand apart from the trouble that is common to the rest of those

who live on this earth.

What IS Trouble?

     Have you ever stepped aside for a moment to ask a very simple

question: What is trouble? What is a trial or tribulation? We all have

them. But have you ever analyzed what constitutes trouble, as you

define it, in your life?

     Generally, "trouble" is disturbance. It is an unpleasant violation

to my sense of well-being. Or to my sense of right and wrong. Or to

my will and desires. "Trouble" is that which disturbs or impedes

what I want; what I think ought to be.

     Trouble generally causes pain. This can be emotional pain,

intellectual distress, and of course, physical pain. Again, trouble is

an interference with ME. It brings upon me that which disturbs what

I would have otherwise desired.

     Trouble can be caused by natural disasters, accidents, or people.

It can be caused by me. Either way, the trials of life are all of those

unpleasant things which cause me discomfort and suffering. They

disrupt my life.


     Now, all of that being said, there emerges one aspect of trouble

that we often miss. It is the fact I determine what trouble is for me.

I determine the depth of my own trouble. I determine that. How? By

how I react to situations and events. The fact is, HOW I REACT to

life determines it's effect upon me more than life itself.

     Exterior problems, as serious as they might be, cannot do anything

to us internally. It is how we REACT to them that determines what

they do to us internally. THAT determines how much we suffer and

hurt and struggle.

     Imagine a corridor between the exterior things of life and your

interior life. Stuff happens in the exterior and must pass through this

corridor to get into your interior. As it passes through that corridor,

you react to it -- both voluntarily and involuntarily. But what ends up

inside of you is therefore not merely the event itself. It is the event or

situation as molded by your reactions and choices. And the fact is, by

the time you are done reacting, what is in your interior may or may not

even resemble the event which occurred outside in life. But to you, it

is the event. It is what you have made it through your reactions and

through your interpretations. This is, of course, subjectivity.

     What this means is that life cannot do anything to me directly. It is

my reaction to life that determines it's effect on me. Thus, the impact

that a trial has on me is not directly determined by the trial. It is

determined by how I react to the trial.

     This only makes sense. All of us have noticed that some folks have

a fit over the most simple things. Others don't seem to be bothered

at all by the very same issue. This shows that it is not the thing or issue

which is the key. It is how the individual reacts to it. That reaction is

what defines the depth of the trouble the person has on his or her

hands. It is that reaction that sets the stage for what ultimately needs

to be overcome and dealt with. It is internal before it is external.

     Again -- note what all of this means. Our reaction to our trouble may

include what we do TO the trouble. But more than this, our reaction

really determines what we allow the trouble to do to US. By our

reaction, we determine what we become because of the trouble.

     None of this means our trouble is not real -- although many people

do react in ways that go beyond what their trouble suggests. And it

does not mean that it is wrong to react. No. We are human and God

not only knows this, but He plans for it. But our trouble, whatever it is,

is by itself, is a dead thing. It is how we react to it and choose over it

that determines what it does to us, and the level of suffering we


     One easy way to prove this is to ask: When does trouble bother

you? Well, when you find out about it, or experience it.  Right? Yes.

Trouble can be firmly in place, but if you don't know about it there is

no effect on you. It is only when you find out about it and react that

the suffering begins. Again -- your reaction determines what life does

to you. If there is no reaction -- due to not knowing -- there is no


     Often, we have no choice as to the physical effects of trouble.

Illness and accidents are not things any of us physically control. But

we always have a choice as to the emotional, and especially the moral

and spiritual effects. There we CAN decide what we will allow. In the

final analysis, we can choose to either allow trouble to be our master,

or to be our servant.

     Now we are able to expand our definition of trouble. It is indeed

that which disturbs my sense of well being and that which violates

my desires. But more importantly, the depth of my trouble is defined,

not by what goes on "our here." It is defined by what goes on in ME.

Thus, how I react to trouble, and what I allow it to do to me, is the real

trial. This defines trouble more than the circumstance of trouble itself.

Types of Trouble

     Trouble comes in all shapes and sizes. Other people can be

trouble -- either deliberately or simply through random circumstance.

Health can be big trouble. My own temperment can be trouble --

conditions like depression or anger, for instance. And then there are

things like natural disasters and accidents. All trouble. And of course,

SIN is trouble. It is the biggest trouble of all.

     When we speak of sin being trouble, of course, we assume that

the person cares about sin. If you don't care about sin, and are

presently getting away with it, you won't think sin is trouble. You may

even think some type of sin is fun. Again -- trouble can be relative.

And with regard to sin -- a person's moral condition will determine

much about whether they think sin is a problem.

     So here we see one area where trouble for a Christian differs from

trouble for an unbeliever. A Christian always cares about sin. An

unbeliever may not care at all.

     A Christian always cares about sin! Always. Even WHEN he sins.

The person isn't a Christian otherwise. This may sound like it is too

definite of a statement, but it is not. There is no such thing as a

Christian who is indifferent to sin. You BECOME a Christian by being

convicted of sin and repenting of sin. You BECOME a Christian by

caring about sin. And you continue to care about it. Indeed, the closer

you get to God, the more sensitive to sin you become. You never stop

caring about it or stop taking it seriously.

     Trials and trouble come upon all people. They are caused by

sin, self-will, and the differences which exist between us all. Or they

are caused by nature: Our temperment, gene pool, or habits. But

above all, OUR trouble is greatly governed by how we respond to

these events and situations -- by what we allow these things to do to

us, morally, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.

Dealing With Trouble

     Trouble, by definition, must be addressed. If I am able to just

ignore trouble, then it cannot be much trouble.

     Human beings have an amazing ability to adjust to trouble. We

have examples all around us of people who have experienced

unimaginable tragedy, but who have adjusted and moved forward.

They have lost loved ones, or been through great suffering and

threat. And in some cases, they have handled it -- at least to the

point of being able to live with it.

     Again, you don't need to be a Christian to be able to do this. There

are plenty of unbelievers who are able to handle trouble in their lives --

even much better than some believers. And there are many believers

who cannot handle trouble well. They fall to pieces in their initial

reaction to pain.

     Once again we see that it is how we REACT to trouble that defines

it's depth -- that defines what it does to us. This is a "law" of our

makeup -- believer in Jesus, or a heathen. It is the way human beings

operate and function. You and I can decide what we will become --

morally, spiritually, and emotionally -- because of our trouble.

     Yet it is here that we do come to a difference between trouble in

the life of a Christian, and in the life of an unbeliever. You see, the

trouble for each may be the same. We might even imagine that the

reaction each has -- humanly -- is the same. But only the Christian

can deal with the trouble to the glory of God. Only the Christian can

allow the trial to be used in his life to conform him to Christ. That is

something an unbeliever cannot do, for he does not want to do it.

That is WHY he is an unbeliever.

     Right here we MUST see something. It is a Truth which governs

this whole issue of trouble. A Christian's correct response to trouble

is to trust God. It is to surrender to God. It is to allow God to use

trouble for eternal good in his life. It is to obey God despite the

trouble. This is in a different arena -- a different realm -- than the one

in which an unbeliever lives.

     Is this not REACTION? We saw earlier how our reaction TO the

trouble is as important as the trouble itself. We saw how it is our

choice as to what we become because of the trouble. For a

Christian, this means we can allow God to use the same trouble

that occurs in the life of all people for a higher purpose: To conform

us to Jesus Christ.

     Faith is a reaction. Surrender is a reaction. So is unbelief. But

when we say "reaction," we do not mean some unconscious,

involuntary response. No. Here we are speaking of "reaction" as

a moral choice. I can choose how to react morally and spiritually,

despite the unreliability of emotions. I can choose to trust God as

my response to trouble.

Why Must There Be Trouble?

     Man has always asked the question, "Why does God allow evil

in the world?" In fact, why didn't God just decide ahead of the time

that sin and evil began that He would not allow it? The answer is so

obvious that we miss it.

     Doubtless you expect me to answer, "Because God must allow

free will." Well, that is, of course, the crux of it. But there is a little

more to this answer.

     Let's think. What is evil? Well, the moment you read that question,

it is almost certain that your mind tried to search for a STANDARD -- a

standard which would define "evil" AS "evil." Or, to put it another way,

you wanted to find the "good" which the "evil" or "bad" falls short of!

We never think of it in opposite terms -- we never define "good" as

being some kind of "improvement upon evil." No. We always know

that evil is what it is because it falls short of good. In short, we know

that GOOD is the eternal standard. BAD or EVIL falls short of it.

     Now, if you think this through, you certainly come to God. And

you should. He IS the good which defines all else. In fact, when

God finished His creation, He said it was ALL GOOD. God simply

does not author anything which is bad, evil, or short of His glory.

So where did evil come from? Well, if God created all things good,

and evil falls short of good, then it is clear that "evil" is nothing more

than a GOOD gone BAD! Sure. Bad is never "just bad" as a thing

to itself. Nothing was created to be bad. "Bad" is a corrupted GOOD.

This applies to Satan himself, man (Adam) himself, and everything else.

     This conclusion is not merely the outcome of logic. It is Biblical.

Otherwise there could be no REDEMPTION -- for redemption is a

buying BACK. There is no "back" if something was bad to begin with!

There is only a "back" for something bad if it was GOOD to begin with.

     Of course, when we speak of GOOD and BAD, or evil, we are talking

in the MORAL sense. A "good" gone "bad" is a moral good gone bad.

It is a MORAL good -- whose life is centered in God -- falling out of that

and becoming corrupted.

     Actually, there can be NOTHING moral unless there is a God. If

there is no God there is no good and there is no bad -- by nature.

There would be only "good" and "bad" as defined by US. Good and

bad would not be moral, but subjective and relative. And meaningless.

This is, of course, how human beings who reject God like it. It relieves

them of all accountability to an Almighty God.

     But there is a God. He is the source of all good and the definition

of all good. He created everything good. But because He does allow

free will -- yep -- there was the possibility that good could become bad.

And it happened. Thus, we have evil in the world. We have TROUBLE.

God must allow evil or there is no good. Good is only good if it

MORAL and voluntary. And if it is moral and voluntary, then carried

in it is the possibility of bad. You CANNOT have good if you do not

allow bad to exist.

     So when people ask, "Why does God allow evil or trouble in the

world," the answer is therefore, "He allows it because He desires

the good." The only way God can have real moral good is if He

allows evil. This is a moral law of creation and of the universe.


     Actually, those who reject God on the grounds that He does not

stop evil or suffering do so without any sanity. Let's imagine a world,

for a moment, where God will not allow any evil, suffering, or bad. What

would that world be like?

     First, you would have a world of immortal human beings. There

could never be sickness -- which causes suffering -- and certain never

could there be death. So we would all have to be immortal.

     Second, all physical laws would have to be suspended every time

one was going to allow or cause suffering. If someone breaks a traffic

law, or makes a tragic mistake behind the wheel of a car, God must

step in and suspend physical laws to prevent an accident. Accidents

cause pain and suffering, even right down to hitting my finger with a

hammer. All such events would have to be stopped, and to stop them,

all physical laws would have to be suspended before they happen.

     Third, since much pain and suffering is caused by one person doing

something to another, God would have to prevent this. That would

mean that God would either have to make it impossible for a person to

ever choose to do something you and I do not like. And of course, this

also means that YOU must also be stopped from doing the same to


     Here is where things get crazy. It goes back to what we said about

trouble being relative. The sad fact is, what makes one person happy

often makes another sad. And worse, it is often when someone does

RIGHT and GOOD that people don't like it. So if we mandate that God

remove all suffering, we must also mandate that He remove morality.

It must be made impossible for anyone to do even GOOD if it is going

to cause trouble and disturbance for anyone.

     Can you see where this is going? Not only do we now have a world

where there are no physical laws we can count on, but we have one

where there can be NO GOOD because God must prevent the people

who hate good from suffering disturbance because of it. Furthermore,

once we take away physical laws and moral choice, we no longer have

human beings. We have robots.

     And another thing. Since our REACTIONS to external events

determine our level of suffering, God would have to prevent all bad

reactions to everything. We would have to be stripped of our ability

to show certain emotions, and to react as we choose. This would

have to be in order for God to prevent all suffering in this world.

      This leads us back to the common answer as to why God cannot

just mandate that suffering and bad cease. It would violate, indeed,

take away all free will. There is suffering in this world because human

beings have a free will. We have a free will to do good or do bad -- to

ourselves and to others. And if God takes away our ability to choose

bad, then any good we would do is not a choice. It is forced behavior.

And that is not real.

     Of course, those who reject God on the basis of the "How can a

loving God allow suffering" argument never consider that if God did

what they demanded, that THEY would be stopped from doing what

THEY please. THEY would no longer be allowed to reject God. That

does bad things to themselves and to other people. But the argument

IS a nice way of blaming God for what man has done, isn't it?

Christian Trouble

     Good and bad are realities of life. For an unbeliever, these are

often relative. Good is what I want. Bad is what I don't want. Or they

are defined by an unbeliever's sense of right and wrong. And worst

of all, trouble is an end unto itself. An unbeliever must cope with it,

without any other purpose involved at all.

     A Christian may have exactly the SAME trouble. But he will have

a completely different frame of reference. Good and bad will not be

defined by what I want. It will be defined by who God is. And even

though the trouble may in fact be an evil thing, and even though we

may react quite strongly, there will stand behind it a greater purpose

than simply solving or adjusting to a problem.

     This comes back to trouble being RELATIVE. It comes back to

HOW I react to it. A Christian may react emotionally just like an

unbeliever -- especially to tragedy. But with that is something beyond

this life. In effect, a Christian should react to trouble in FAITH.

     A Christian knows that nothing happens to us unless it has first

been to God. This does not mean God CAUSES evil. But often He

allows it -- many times for purposes He will not explain. At least for

purposes He will not explain beyond what He has explained in His

Word. God has given us a purpose behind the things He allows in

our lives. One place is found in Romans:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love

God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom

he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the

image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom

he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

     This passage, however, is often made to mean things it does NOT

mean. Often people say, "Well, this thing looks evil. But it is really a

good thing. You will see." Or they say, "All this bad stuff is happening,

but God will work it out to being something good." Yet despite the

possibility that either of these statements could be true in a given

situation, this is NOT what the passage from Romans is saying at all.

The "good" unto which "all things work together" in this passage

from Romans is clearly stated by God: That we might be conformed

to Christ. THAT is the "good" Paul describes. It is as clear as a bell.

So yes, all things do work together "for good." But not "good" as we

might define it. Not necessarily temporal or natural good. It is "good"

as God defines it -- eternal and real. God wants to work all things

together in our lives as a tool for conforming us to Christ.

     But even then there is a "disclaimer" we must add. God will work

all things together unto the good of conforming us to Christ. But only

to those who -- what? To those who love God! -- according to Paul. In

other words, we are right back to reaction again. Back to choosing

with regard to the trouble. The good of being conformed to Christ will

only be achieved if I trust and yield to God. That is how I love God in

any situation. Otherwise, I'm going to be at odds with the purposes

of God. And that is not going to conform me to Christ.

     We have to get it settled: God's goal are not man's goals. Man

is seeking THIS age and the things of THIS world. God is not. He

is seeking eternity for us. Thus, we have a clash of purposes. But for

the child of God, it should not be so. If we love God, and are called

according to HIS purpose, He will work all things unto the good of

conforming us to Christ. And we will surrender to Him for this.

     The fact is, there is great evil in this world. There is NO good in it.

There are also many things in our lives which are NOT going to work

out the way we might want them to work out -- circumstantially. How

could they? -- for many times people refuse to let God have His way

in them. But for the believer, God will take even the worst evil and

work it to an eternal good -- that of conforming us to Christ. He will

do this even if the circumstances do not end up the way we would

like them to end up.

Sources of Trouble

      For a child of God, there are really two sources of trouble: The

first is trouble which is the result of being born a human being. The

second is the result of being born again. And actually, we are

supposed to handle them both the same way: Trust God in the midst

of the trouble.

     We have already talked about trouble that is common to all people.

But the Christian has another dimension of trouble which the

unbeliever does not have. You see, the Christian is torn between two

worlds. His life is a battleground of sorts. He has knowledge,

experience, and issues at stake which he would not have as an

unbeliever. And all of these carry their own unique brand of trouble.

     A Christian, for instance, when he finds himself plunged into

trouble, cannot simply be content to do his best to get out of it, or

to cope with it. He must find the will of God in it. Furthermore, when

a Christian realizes the will of God in any situation, he must obey.

This alone will often result in trouble that would not have otherwise


     Then there are the internal struggles. These bring upon the

Christian more stress and turmoil -- indeed warfare -- than anything

external. We are in a spiritual warfare with the forces of darkness.

We have our flesh to contend with. It is not without reason that Paul

says, "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against

the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye

cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal. 5:17) Paul likewise gives

us a glimpse of his personal struggles by saying, "

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I

hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the

law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that

dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no

good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that

which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the

evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that which I would not do,

it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law,

that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in

the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my

members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into

captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man

I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God

through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve

the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom. 7:14-25)

     Paul is describing something here which an unbelievers knows

nothing about, and which an unbeliever cares nothing about. He is

describing what happens when a person who is born again must

contend with a body of flesh and a nature of sin. Despite the fact

that the sin nature has no power over us because of Jesus Christ, it

nevertheless takes us time to learn to overcome and walk in that


     So Christians do have another dimension of suffering and trials.

They face issues which are the result of being born again. They

face the Devil, their own flesh, and all the things which God allows

to come into their lives. This is not abnormal, but fully within God's

pattern and design for His people.

Change Isn't Easy

     Part of the Lord's prayer states, "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in

heaven." But if we really mean that when we pray it, have we actually

considered the ramifications if God answered our prayer?

     The first thing it means it that OUR will is no longer acceptable. We

are giving God permission to invade our lives and completely disrupt

OUR will and begin to implement HIS will. But if God does this, we must

realize that it is going to produce events and circumstances which are

going to bring about suffering and pain for us.

     We are not talking here about God coming in and causing tragedy.

We are talking about God coming in and doing whatever is necessary

to set us free from living by our own wills. This really means that God

is not going to be content to do His will and let us simply stand by as

a spectator. No. In short, the only way God can really do His will in our

lives is if we BECOME His will.

     Do you see that? It is one thing to say to God, "Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven." But it is another to say, "Thy will be done,

in MY earth, as it is in heaven." This means that not only must God

do His will, but I must do it. And the only way I can do it -- and for that

to be REAL -- is if I become God's will, morally and spiritually.

     Again, we come back to the "good" unto which God wants to work

all things: To change us. To conform us to Christ. THAT IS the will of

God that He wants to do on earth, as it is in heaven.

     Now all of this -- by definition -- mandates trouble. It is a road filled

with suffering and trials to get from living in my will to where I live in

God's will. It requires an upheaval of great magnitude. It requires a

massive adjustment to everything I do and everything I am. To get to

the place where I am in the world, but not of the world is not easy.

     Of course, we are here talking about "growing pains" to a degree.

But we are also talking about chastisement, spiritual warfare, and any

number of things God may allow or cause for the purpose of bringing

us on in Christ.

The Good Side

     It is never easy to change from what you are. But if what you are is

not too good, then when that change occurs, it is not a negative thing.

It is a positive thing. Just as the birth of a baby hurts when it is

happening, there is a result from it that makes it all worthwhile: A new

life. So it is with us in Christ. There is something ahead which is far

greater than anything we could possibly have here. It is a new life, and

all eternity goes with it.

     Paul talks about suffering as if it is expected, and something that is

being used for good:

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,

as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice, in as

much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory

shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (I Pet.


My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let

patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire,

wanting nothing. (Js. 1:2-4)

     What we see here is a PURPOSE in trials. But sometimes we get

this wrong. We say, "God is testing us." Well, no, He really isn't -- not

in the sense that God is trying to figure us out, or see what we will do.

God PROVES us through trials. This means that He intends, through

the trial, to bring out in us that which is IN us through the new birth,

His Son, Jesus Christ.

     Note that James says, "The trying of your faith works patience." In

other words, if we respond by faith, we will BECOME something. We

will become someone who has developed the fruit of patience.

     Thus, we see that what we do with the trial -- determines what the

trial is able to do for us.  If we use the trial to build faith -- which is what

God is using it for -- we become more conformed to Christ.

The Eternal Purpose

     It is highly unlikely that if we approach a trial with any other frame

of reference than that of the eternal that we are going to get far in the

purposes of God. We must see that the trial is temporal. But it is being

used for eternal purposes. The trial will pass away. But what we

become through it will be eternal.

     We must get this or we will never understand. Trials and trouble, as

much as they hurt, are temporal. They will pass away, or we will pass

away out of them through death. But what we BECOME in Christ

Jesus through those trials is eternal. And THAT is what God is after in


     Get that. Everything you see is going to pass away. All of it. But

you are, right now, BECOMING something through your involvement

in all that is going to pass away. And what you become is what you

are going to be when you stand before God.

     It is so easy to get our eyes on the trial. We try to figure out how to

get out of it, or how to handle this or that. There are practical things to

be sure that we should consider in any trial. But we should never

forget that what we are becoming IN the trial is far more important in

the eyes of God then whether we get OUT of the trial. God wants to

use all thing together unto the ultimate good of conforming us to Jesus


The Image of Jesus Christ

     Once we discover and establish that God wants to conform us to

the image of Christ, we have found a tremendous meaning to life. But

we must go farther. We must not only know that God wants to

conform us to Christ, but we must understand what this means. What

does it mean to be conformed to Christ?

     Some of us think that it means that we are going to become some

kind of "super-Christian." We set up this standard of a person who is

practically perfect in every way. Someone who is never in a bad mood,

who never says anything wrong, and someone who has so much faith

in God that they never even blink at the first sign of trouble. But such

a suggestion is not only nonsense -- it is the antithesis of what it really

means to be conformed to Christ.

     God does not want "spiritual giants" in His kingdom. He wants

little children. Consequently, to be conformed to Christ -- rather than

make us strong and self-sufficient -- will make us weak in ourselves,

and reliant upon God. Instead of a person who considers himself to

be a wonderful spiritual specimen, we will know that we are nothing,

but that Christ is everything.

     If I am conformed to Christ I will draw all of my strength, not from

anything about ME, but from my faith in HIM. I will be glad I am weak,

because as Paul said, "when I am weak, I am strong."

     Now, this makes perfect sense when we know that trials are one

of God's common tools for conforming us to Christ. What do trials do

except prove to us how weak we are? What do trials do if they do not

deplete and reduce us, and make us more reliant upon God? Trials

expose the fact that we are nothing except what we are in Him.

     God uses trials to bring us down to nothing so that, in Him, we may

possess everything. God also uses blessings, and the normal grind of

life, to conform us to Christ also. But trouble and trials will always be

the one and only way God can show us our reliance upon Him, and

bring us back to that relationship He had in the beginning with Adam.

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