When adversity hits you like a ton of bricks, it could easily throw you into a pit of discouragement and despair. Although you may consider difficulties as setbacks, the Lord sees them as times for great advancement. His purpose for allowing them is not to destroy you but to stimulate your spiritual growth. In His great wisdom, the Lord knows how to take an awful situation and use it to transform you into the image of Christ and equip you to carry out His will.
Every adversity that comes into your life is sifted through God's permissive will. That doesn't mean the difficulty itself is His perfect will, but He's allowed the trial to touch you so that He can use it to accomplish His wonderful purposes for your life. Although some of the suffering we see and experience seems senseless or blatantly evil, we must recognize that we have a very limited perspective and cannot always understand what the Lord is doing.
Our heavenly Father sees every aspect of life, but our view is restricted to what is right before us. His plans include not only you but all of His creation, and they reach from the beginning of time to eternity future. Though we'll never grasp the infinite mind of God, we can know His faithfulness and love.
When you can't understand God's ways, focus on His perfect knowledge, wisdom, and power rather than the magnitude of your sorrow. Remember, He sees the entire picture and loves you more than you can imagine. This is a time to walk by faith, as perfect understanding comes only in heaven.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.