David wrote: "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. . . . He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented [came upon] me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me" (Psalm 18:6, 16-19).
Dear saint, rest assured that if you are being afflicted, it is because God delights in you. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6). Your afflictions are a sign of His love.
You must also remember that whatever you're going through will pass. Recently, I read a passage in one of my journals that I had written while going through a great trial. Three months' worth of entries all ended with the same phrase: "Oh, God, when will this nightmare end?" Then, finally, these words appeared across a page in huge letters: "IT'S OVER—HE HAS DELIVERED!"
I can honestly say I have learned more in my afflictions than I ever did in good times. Prosperity doesn't teach us—afflictions do. The humanitarian Albert Schweitzer said, "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." No, happiness is remembering all the ways God has brought us through.
I ask you again: How are you reacting to your afflictions? Are you wasting them, becoming a doubter and complainer? Or are you building up your faith, knowing that your God delivers?
There is only one way to endure your present troubles: Remember that your heavenly Father delights in you. He has a plan at work, a great investment in you. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Your Father is preparing you to be a veteran of spiritual warfare, an example of faith and trust to this generation.