Sometimes we pray & ask God to grow us & make us more like Jesus.
Then to our surprise, we find ourselves neck-deep in a trial.
So we pray & ask God to take it away.
But what if it was God who brought the trial as the answer to our prayer for growth?
In John Newton’s hymn
I Asked the Lord
I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith & love & every grace;
Might more of His salvation know & seek, more earnestly, His face.
‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray & He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way, As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour, At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r, Subdue my sins & give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, Blasted my gourds & laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried, Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
Tis in this way, the Lord replied, I answer prayer for grace & faith.
These inward trials I employ, From self & pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, That thou may’ st find thy all in Me
God is not only doing more than we can see; He is doing more than we can fathom.
But of the infinite number of things God is doing, we can be sure that amid trials,
He is doing these three things in our lives:
He is purifying our faith,
He is creating endurance,
He is maturing us.
For this reason, we can count it all joy when we encounter various trials
He’s bringing us closer & closer to Himself under His protective embrace