Why does God allow us to encounter so much conflict and hardship in life? How does it all fit in with His plan to bring us into union with Him? Choice is the answer!
Our redemption does not merely rest on our initial decision to make Jesus Lord of our life. It’s true that receiving Christ as Lord is the bedrock of our salvation, but our relationship with Him is built on a series of decisions we make over the course of a lifetime. And because life’s circumstances are tough, these choices are rarely easy. God allowed sin to exist for this very reason.
If God had designed things so that it would be easy to follow Him, our choices would have little meaning. Our pursuit of Jesus, while forsaking our own selfish desires, is what He wants. And He’s created the ideal system to measure our progress: life here on earth.
From Free from the Power of Sin: the Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself