Isaiah calls out to northern Israel that judgment is coming upon them because of their sin. Assyria is going to invade and plunder their wealth. They have failed to look to God so God will come against them in judgment but with the hope that they might see and turn to him. God is hoping that this warning and their exile will be fuel to bring them back to him.
Paul, like Isaiah's audience, is an example of God using difficult things to bring about maturity and humility. Paul experienced a "thorn in my flesh," which he begged God to take away. God allowed the thorn to remain because it taught Paul that God's grace is sufficient, humility is essential, and God's power is the strength that counts.
God can use hard things in our lives for our good and his glory. Don't just run from difficulty but instead ask God what he might be trying to do in the midst of it. When Paul had this conversation with God it radically changed his perspective.
Question of the day: When have you seen God use difficulty to mature you?
Father God, thank you that you can use and redeem all things. Thank you that even in the midst of difficulty and hardship, you are at work. Help me to gain your perspective and use all things for your glory. Amen.