For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
One of the hardest, but most important, lessons for children and young people to learn is to view hardships in light of their purpose and outcome. Most children don’t like to practice scales on the piano, but they love a superior rating at the recital. Most young athletes don’t relish the hours of grueling practice, but they love the joy of victory and accomplishment.
Granted, the purpose and outcome of every hardship in life is not always evident. But all we need to know is that God is at work in us “to will and to do for His good pleasure.” God has a purpose (Romans 8:28) and His outcome is plainly stated: to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). And for that He is worthy to be praised. It’s why Paul wrote that we should “in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We may not thank God for the pain, but we can certainly worship Him because He is in control of our life—confident that He has a purpose and knows the outcome.
Worship in times of hardship isn’t easy. If you need a guide, use Paul’s words in Romans 11:33-36—a doxology of praise when we don’t have all the answers.
The best rubrics of worship are those which are written on broken hearts.
Charles H. Spurgeon
Recommended Reading: Romans 11:33-36