God Is Not Working For Our Comfort (But Something Far Better)

Any time we find ourselves in difficulty or trial, it is easy to think we have been forgotten or rejected by God. This is because we do not understand the present process. God is not working for our comfort and ease; he is working on our growth. At the very moment we are tempted to question his faithfulness, he is fulfilling his redemptive promises to us. ?–Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp, How People Change

“God is not working for our comfort and ease; he is working on our growth.”

When I became a Christian I heard someone say, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for for life.” ?Which is true. Only I thought his wonderful plan for my life was to continuously bless me with good things. Which is true. Except my definition of good things and God’s definition of good things are often different.

Gods wonderful plan for my life is to conform me to Christ, not give me everything I want. ?Sometimes being conformed to Christ is painful. Sometimes God conforms me to Christ by NOT giving me what I desire. Sometimes he conforms to Christ by sending people into my life who sin against me. Sometimes he uses pressure and suffering. ?He’s got all kinds of wonderful tools to chisel, chip, shape, sand and smooth.

God in his infinite wisdom knows exactly what we need to make us more like Jesus. Because Jesus was humble, God needs to bring things into our lives to humble us. ?Because Jesus was patient and forbearing with others, God brings people into our lives that require patience and forbearance. Because Jesus trusted God when mistreated by others God sometimes takes us through that challenge.

“At the very moment we are tempted to question his faithfulness, he is fulfilling his redemptive promises to us.”

If only we could always remember this. God is CONTINUALLY working to make us like his Son. ?Every single thing that happens to us is part of this plan for our lives. Nothing happens by accident. Every single thing is focused on this one goal of conforming us to the likeness of Christ.

And won’t it be worth it? When we get to heaven and see the glory of Jesus shining through each of us we’ll rejoice and thank God for every painful thing God did in our lives to produce Christ in us. ?Remember, our afflictions, in comparison with this wonderful goal, are momentary and light. If we take our eyes off this goal, they seem heavy and long.

So let us be like Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. ?Keep your eyes on the joy ? ?seeing Jesus’ face and enjoying him forever completely conformed to his likeness.

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I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.


  1. Ken H says

    This reminded me of what I believe is a quote by AW Tozer “God can’t use a man greatly until He has broken them deeply.” You don’t see that on the ‘prosperity gospel’ bandwagon.

    Encouraging post.

  2. says

    What a timely post for my husband and myself. Just last night, we were humbly praying about a surgery my husband would be performing this afternoon. There were many opportunities to ask “why?” of God, yet God calls us to keep trusting Him and knowing that His ways are beyond our understanding. He is good and worthy of our full trust and love. Blessings!

  3. Cliff Pearce says

    I agree with these good words, but would love to see them balanced and compared with the wonderful verses on comfort in 2 Corinthians Chapter 1.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hey Cliff, I love 2 Corinthians 1 – love how the Lord comforts us in all our affliction. I totally agree– We need to remember this. I don't see any conflict between them – one of the great comforts when I am afflicted is that God is making me like Christ. But I also love how the Lord personally comforts me in affliction. Thank you for drawing our attention to this.

  4. Puris omnia pura says

    Wow, this article really hit home with me, specifically today….it's been a spiritually dark day!, My prayers started out with me complaining about the sins of others against me, particularly my husband. Remembering what Isaiah experienced …God showed me my own hideous sins instead. I realize God doesn't just want to show us how sinful we are, for identifying it isn't enough, He wants us to loathe those sins ….& crumble under the weight of them, we cast ourselves on Him, knowing only He can save us from their cycle of hopelessness. My heart is too blind, yes my own heart is too evil, to justly judge another of God's servants & it's God's job to show another their sin's, not mine as I ought to be about the business of mortifying my own.


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