There are various reasons people undergo different negative experiences. In most cases, the Creator is blamed or held responsible for their plight. Whereas, there are many things that influence the occurrence of any negative experience. God is not always the Author of every negative situation in one’s life, although He knows about it.. In many cases, there are many things that bring about negative experiences..
It happens many times that the Lord allows His people to pass through one hardship or the other for a purpose. This may be known immediately or later by the person undergoing the hardship; else, He may keep the reason secret.
One common purpose is to bring out knowledge: that is, to let someone say, “Now I know!” Now let us see a few of such purposes from the Scriptures.
1. The man be that the fellow who goes through hardship or a loss may KNOW. This was the case with a widow at Zarephath. She was Prophet Elijah’s hostess during a famine that lasted for many months.
When the duo met, Elijah’s prophetic pronouncement on the woman’s meal and multiplied it to feed the woman, Elijah and her lone son for the period the famine lasted. Details are contained in 1Kings17:8-16.
The woman was not convinced of Elijah’s prophetic calling.
One day, the only son of the woman became sick and died. The widow did not see her unbelief; she accused the Prophet of bringing her sins into remembrance. Elijah later prayed to God and the child was revived. Details are contained in 1 Kings 17:17-23. The woman later emptied the contents of her heart thus,
“Now by this I know that you are a man of God,
and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.” verse 24.
2. Close to the one above is that an unbeliever, a gentile, may know there is a living God. This was the case with a prominent Army General who had conquered nations for his master, the king of Syria, but he was a leper.
It was one of his captives who was serving his wife who introduced God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel to the man of war for healing. He went to Prophet Elisha who was in Israel. He instructed the Army General to dip himself in river Jordan seven times to be cleansed from his leprosy. He reluctantly obeyed and was healed. See the full story in 2 Kings 5:1-19.
What was his response after healing? He declared his oath of allegiance to God of Israel thus,
“Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel,
Then, if not let your servant be given two mules loads of earth for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord.” 2Kings 5:15,17.
That was Namaan for you.
3. To convince the Righteous further of God’s Goodness. Many afflictions of a Righteous man or a group of them may be for the purpose of ensuring that God is Supreme. The experience of the army of God in Egypt, the children of Israel, was not to their taste. It was sour. They never loved it.
Later, the Lord came down to set them free.
During their wilderness journey, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law visited him in company of her daughter, Moses’ wife, and her two children. Jethro patiently heard all that God had down for Moses and people of Israel.
What was his response?
He did not mince words, he said,
“Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.” Exodus 18:11.
Those are the words of a Priest of God from Midian. He knew God but he knew him more.
You can know Him more.
4. To prove what is in you,,even as a Righteous man. The Lord may want to be proud of His people by what they prove to Him. The Lord may want to be convinced of whether or not a man fears Him.
Father Abraham was a friend of God who walked according to His leading everywhere. Yet, He wanted to know more of Abraham’s heart by proof. He demanded that Abraham should sacrifice his lone son to Him. He did not deny Him. The Lord later declared,
“Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.” Genesis 22:12.
Are you going through any hard time? Bear it for the glory of God. Note these words from the Psalmist,
“Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119:67,71
Watch what you think, say or do in your hardship! Let the Lord be glorified.
Stay blessed and rapturable because the Lord is coming soon.
All Scriptures quoted are from New King James Version of the Holy Bible..