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God never once promised anywhere in the Bible that as Christians we would be exempt from difficulties and suffering. God "sends rain on the just and the unjust” says the Bible (Matthew 5:45). In fact, as Christians we are often called upon to endure even more suffering. In some parts of the world being a Christian means imprisonment and even death simply because of their faith. So does this then mean that God has forgotten us when hard times come our way? Absolutely not. God's love for us never changes. Those hard times prepare us. They polish us. Consider if you will the little  honey bee. In its first stage of life it is placed into a hexagonal cell that is sealed with a capsule of wax where it remains until it reaches maturity. When the time comes for it to emerge the bee faces a very fierce battle to get through the wax. It is during this struggle that the bee rubs off the membrane that was hiding its wings and thus enables it to fly. Were it not for that struggle, the bee could not enjoy the beauty of flight   


None of us likes to go through hard times but God can use those times to show us our weaknesses and help us to grow in our faith. The mighty eagle and even the little dove both fly more swiftly against a strong wind than they do in a gentle breeze because they exert their full muscular strength. As well, you and I too must exert our full faith when we face the strong winds of adversity. It is in the face of the winds that the true nature of our faith is revealed.

-Mark Shutts

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