In a demonstration two young soldiers are each given a sword. One has been tempered, and one has been not. The one that is tempered has a hard strength to it that allows it to hold before it’s opponent without breaking. The other looks much like the tempered blade, but quickly snaps when it is put to the test. The soldier given the untempered blade soon finds himself defenseless. Christians are made in the same way. The Lord allows us to be subjected to trials and tribulations in order to strengthen us to do his work.
Satan comes before the Lord in the Book of Job. The Lord asks Satan if he has seen his servant Job, who is righteous beyond compare in the world. Satan replies that if the Lord took away this or that, then Job would turn against the Lord. The Lord then gives Satan permission to do so, and Satan leaves. This repeats several times, each time with the Lord giving permission and setting limitations on what he will allow Satan to do to Job. The Lord allows this to take place because he knows his servant Job will be triumphant and set an example for all time.
There is a common expression that states, “anything that does not kill you, makes you stronger”. This is in recognition that a person who successfully survives a traumatic event can be strengthened by it. Many famous people who have made a positive difference in the world come from very hard lives that toughened them for the struggles they faced later in life.
Difficulties in our lives can be opportunities from the Lord to strengthen us. The Lord does not cause bad things to happen to his people, but he can use bad things for his glory in our lives if we let him. Those who have had the hardest lives are given the opportunity to be special servants of the Lord whom he can give tasks to on earth that would crush someone unprepared.
The next time something really bad happens to you, ask the Lord what he is preparing you for. He may be tempering you with strength to face trials ahead.