Learning Life Lessons The Hard Way

Neil Vermillion —  October 2, 2013 —  Comments

I am so convinced it’s God’s will for our lives to learn things the easy way. Even difficult lessons can be learned in relatively easy ways, if we will listen, follow and obey.


So why do we have such hard lessons?

Typically this is because of one of two reasons. Either we don’t have understanding, or we choose not to follow that understanding.

Sometimes you learn lessons the hard way because you didn’t learn it the first time (the easy way). Click here to tweet this

The first reason is because we are young, inexperienced, or simply unaware. We haven’t encountered these life lessons yet. It’s not outright rebellion or defiance. We simply don’t know. More often than not, however, this is a direct result from our virtually non-existent relationship with God.


Though we may be believers, many “believers” barely spend any time, any quality, intimate time, in going deeper and getting to know God on a more personal level. In this ever-demanding culture of “I need it yesterday” we often succumb to the daily obstacles and diversions that demand our attention. As a result we work too much, or are involved in too many activities, even legitimate activities, that suck away the lifeblood of knowing God.

Getting To Know God

Knowing God doesn’t happen in a weekend. It doesn’t happen in a week or a month. In fact it doesn’t really happen in the course of an entire lifetime. God in his fullest sense is truly, completely unknowable. He’s too big, too holy, too righteous, too powerful – too much in every way.

Our little minds and senses simply cannot process or consume or comprehend all he is. However, God does desire to reveal himself to us. He desperately desires to draw you closer to him, and reveal as much as you can handle, as much as you are willing to handle.

Though God is fully unknowable, he reveals pieces of himself, and we can have a very good idea of who he is, what he’s all about, and what touches his heart. Though he is totally unknowable, he is still very close to us, very concerned about where we are, where we are going, and of course, where we have come from.

He works behind the scenes, often times through life lessons, to continually draw us closer to him, in kind, merciful, loving ways – though we don’t always respond.

So as we have little knowledge of God, we miss out on his ways, and his plans, and his timing. We end up wondering around not fully knowing or understanding what’s happening, or why it’s happening. If we were to spend more time in knowing God, we would have a much greater insight into the why, the when, and the how throughout the many lessons we learn in this life.

Knowing The Future

In fact, we would have a much greater understanding of what’s going to happen before it happens. As his intercessor-children often he is also willing to share his motivation with us. After all, Jesus himself said that he called us friends, not just servants.

He distinguished the difference in this friendship relationship by being able to know the “why” behind what God was doing. A servant is simply told what to do, but friends and family are allowed to not only know what, but also why.

If we spend time getting closer to God, knowing him, loving him, obeying him, revelation and understanding automatically grow. It’s part of the fruits we reap when we sow into intimacy, and invest our precious time into building a real relationship with our heavenly father.

Many people presume the obstacle to learning our lessons through life’s times and events and circumstances is in the revelation, the knowing of what’s happening, even before it happens.

But this is not really the case.

The real reason is also that we simply don’t obey. The Bible is filled with stories of God revealing plans to people, but they don’t follow them. It’s filled with people who knew God’s plans and instead chose to go another way. They simply didn’t obey, though they knew better. We presume if we knew, we would obey, but in reality, our human nature will likely resist.

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Why would we resist? Why would we not obey?

The answer to this is actually very simple, though very difficult. We honestly, most of the time, don’t like God’s plans. We don’t like his choices, we don’t like his outcomes, we don’t like the people he’s selected, and we don’t like his timing.

Most of us end up complaining about how God is working in our lives even knowing and recognizing that it’s God’s doing. Our human nature revolts and often hates the way God chooses to work in our lives (which is sometimes the very point of what God is doing in the first place).

So while the first point in learning our life lessons and growing in understanding is spending time with God to learn, love, and receive from him, the second part is to submit to his leadership and obey. The obedience portion is the part that’s really difficult.

This is why God cherishes and rewards obedience so much. He knows it’s difficult.

So why don’t we learn lessons in our life the first time, “the easy way”? Generally it boils down to either not knowing, or not obeying. As result, we end up having to re-learn the lesson and repeat it until we get it right, or at least close enough.

If this is you, if you feel you’re missing revelation and understanding, or you’re not exactly the most obedient believer, take a moment right now and talk to God about it. You’ll find he is very happy to talk with you and to help you in every way you need help.

He’ll be kind and honest with you, encouraging you along the way as you grow and continue to learn. Go ahead and do it right now… pray to God asking him for help in your life lessons.

Tell me what you think in the comments section below.