Children of God
Being among the children of God does not necessarily exempt one or protect us from all trouble, but it gives one strength to endure. The Bible says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalms 34:19).
However, it has been recognized that the afflictions of the Christian are less than those of the non-Christian. For the latter suffer the effects of overindulgence, of crime, and of bad habits. Certainly, some of the benefits of righteous living are gained in this life. “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree” (Psalm 92:12; Proverbs 11:21; Psalm 5:12).
The Lord said, “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:1,2).
God’s children have the comforting assurance that He will be with them to help and to deliver when they face the most difficult situations. “The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). God protects His faithful children from their enemies and watches over them (Matthew 10:28–30).
Comfort and deliverance
The children of God were not promised freedom from trials and tribulation, but help and final liberation. “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever” (Psalm 37:29). At different times ancient Israel had passed “through fire and through water,” but God saved them. And today, God assures His faith children that even though they may go through hardships, He will surely deliver them.
David wrote, “You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment” (Psalm 66:12). The Lord will not leave His children alone to fight the powers of darkness. He will deliver and bless the righteous. He will “surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12).
Growth through struggles
In the unconverted man, who has not been born again of the Holy Spirit, trials and rejection often produce only impatience and rebellion (Matthew 13:21). But in those who are converted by the Holy Spirit of God, trials produce patience and strength (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Paul wrote, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3,4). The apostle could say these words with confidence for he knew this truth from personal experience (2 Corinthians 11:23–27).
Patient endurance of trials refines the believer’s faith. Out of these experiences the children of God obtain purity. For hope and faith grow as they are tested and exercised. The experience of Job illustrates how the severe chastisement of character can empower the faith of a true believer (Job 40; 42).
In His service,