It is essential to remember that in our suffering, God controls the intensity and duration, and also makes a way of escape for us because He has promised that He will not allow us to go through more than we can bear (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). God does not rejoice in our pain, but rejoices when we bear godly fruit of righteousness and peace. The Scripture says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11 NIV84).
As Christians we are called to walk as Jesus walked. That means we turn our backs on sin, give up our former ways of living, and focus on God’s ways. The Bible says that our lives are hid with Christ (see Colossians 3:3) just as we might hide treasures from thieves. It is obvious that, if our lives are hid with Christ, we’ll treasure His ways more than worldly ways.
The other promise we love to claim is, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24 NIV). What does this promise mean? Does it mean we can ask for anything? I don’t think so. When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” Then He concluded by saying, “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39 NIV). This prayer is an indication that we need to take God’s will into account. If what we request is against God’s will, we can forget it. So we need to find God’s will about issues before asking, because He will not grant anything contrary to His will.