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Editorial: Lent Brings Us Closer To God

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2–4).

As we enter another sacred season of Lent, we find ourselves once again entering 40 days of prayer, sacrifice, alms giving, and prayer.

So often, when we find ourselves experiencing difficulties in life, we question, “Why, God?” and demand to know why we were chosen to carry struggles, trials, and tribulations. Perhaps struggles and trials pull you away from God. “If God loved me, why wouldn’t he make things right?” might be a common thought that comes into your mind in the midst of hardship.
Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our humanity, acknowledging that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. Entering 40 days of Lent, we take upon suffering and sacrifices in an effort to grow closer to God. It’s similar to Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, where he prayed and fasted before he met his ultimate destiny: the suffering and crucifixion on Good Friday.

Romans 5:3–5 encourages us: “We also give glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Lent is a time to recognize that pain, suffering, and sacrifices are present ultimately bring us closer to God. As we journey through the struggle-filled season of Lent, it’s important for us to begin to see trials and storms in a new way. Though we may still have a strong aversion to pain, we can see the hand of God when the winds of trial come, we can take solace in the fact that our struggles will ultimately help us cling tighter to him.