A.W. Tozer seems to have gotten a hold on something here. Those who step forward into discipleship or ministry will inevitably be hurt in some significant way. I wouldn’t say it was a ‘given’, but it is the common path we take.
The problem is not God’s— He loves us and wants to really bless us. He is all goodness and grace. He has no evil intentions concerning you, and certainly has no desire to see you suffer in a crisis of suffering or trial. Even in times of temptation, He simply views it as a step to strengthen us; He never is out to trip us up.
I think that the issue is us. Our old nature–the sinner inside, delights in things like pride and selfishness (even in religious matters.) Some of the most difficult people I have ever had to work with were in places of oversight within the Church. But unbelievers have an issue with me at times.
Could it be that the problem isn’t that we are too weak, rather, it is because we are too strong?
God’s intention is ‘to bless greatly.’ But my pride and self will must be left at the door (repeatedly). My old nature cannot truly work in the Kingdom. Only when these issues are dealt with (repeatedly) will humility and brokenness transform us. Quite simply, there is no way around this. God uses broken things. We must be broken as well.
“It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
Becoming broken is often a lifetime of trial, temptation, and affliction. You will ‘log-in’ many hours in the desert. Many of His best soldiers have been recruited from that barren place. The Holy Spirit is our best guide through the distinct aridity of such places.
“Before God could bring me to this place He has broken me a thousand times.”
Follow up with: