No doubt it is quite natural to desire the easier ways of life. None of us love difficulty for its own sake. We would all like to have good things come to us as gifts, as favors, without toil or sacrifice or cost. But life’s best things do not ordinarily come to us this way. Nor would they be the best things if we received them in this way.
After Israel had entered the holy land, the people of Joseph came to Joshua with the complaint concerning their allotment in the promised land. They said, “Why have you given us but one lot and one portion for an inheritance, seeing that we are great people?”
Joshua responded, “If you are great people, then go up to the high country and clear the forest from the mountains and drive out the enemy, and take possession of it.”
These people wanted to be recognized as the most important tribe, but they wanted this prominence to be bestowed upon them without exertion of their own. Joshua may have seemed a little unkind to his own tribe, but he really was not. Our best friends are not those who make life easy for us; our best friends are those who put courage, strength, and resolution into our hearts.
Many people would prefer God to pamper them, but this is not God’s way with us. He does not promise to make life easy for us. God, in His wisdom, does not clear the forest before us but puts the axe into our hands. He does not remove the enemies there, but puts the sword into our hand and says, “I will be with you.”
If there is a great difficulty in your life, perhaps God is using it to make you stronger, to work godly character in your heart. The place of honor is often a result of the hardest places in life. Be teachable, be humble, maybe God is doing a work greater than you could imagine.