George Mueller on Difficulties as the Food of Faith
In this broken world if you are not facing trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, just wait longer. But trials do not mean that God has abandoned us, rather for the Christian and perhaps for the unbeliever, trials are a gift that God uses for the good of those who love Him, by which He might increase our faith in Him.
I implore you, read a biography of George Mueller and see what I mean.
Mueller lived from 1805 to 1898 in England where he became known for his work of serving orphans by letting God provide for their needs, often miraculously. His life is best summed up in his own words: “My whole life shall be one service for the living God.”
Here is a paragraph from a pamphlet (An Hour with George Mueller) that I read from time to time in which Mueller talks about the advantages of trials by which God grows our faith in Him. Mueller writes:
God delights to increase the faith of His children. Our faith, which is feeble at first, is developed and strengthened more and more by use. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as means. I say – and say it deliberately – trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith. I get letters from many of God’s children who say, “Dear Brother Mueller: I’m writing this because I am weak and feeble in faith.” Just so surely as we ask to have our faith strengthened, we must feel a willingness to take from God’s hand the means for strengthening it. We must allow Him to educate us through trials and bereavements and troubles. It is through trials that faith is exercised and developed more and more. God affectionately permits difficulties, that He may develop unceasingly that which He is willing to do for us, and to this end we should not shrink, but if He gives us sorrow and hindrances and losses of afflictions, we should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us. (See Hebrews 12:4-11; John 16:33)
Mueller is not advocating masochism, but He is saying that Romans 8:28 is true. When Paul writes that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, he really means all. We must learn to see that what we often want least is the very thing we need the most, and God knows what you need even if you don’t.