These are emotions and circumstances that we all walk through at some point in our lives, even our Christian lives. Frequently, these emotions and thoughts of despair will convince us that all we need is to go back to sleep and wake up again. Surely, a few more minutes of our head buried in the sand will allow these terrible circumstances to pass right on by us. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it works, is it? We raise our heads out of the dust and realize that our eyes and body are even more gritty and soiled than when we tried to hide from it all.
What are we to do?
I know. Let’s shove the covers back, throw our feet on the floor, hit the alarm clock (because it’s entirely that buggers fault anyway), go to the bathroom, slam the door, rip the shower curtain back and resolve to let the waters of this world flush away the foulness of this mess. Unfortunately, no matter how long the water runs, our circumstances and pain still remain.
Can you relate? I know I can.
Sometimes persevering through trials is just hard.
- There are deadlines at work that our jobs depend on.
- There are spouses who are difficult to get along with.
- There are family members suffering from a deadly disease.
- Our friends desert us for the next party.
These are obviously just a few of the many circumstances we can find ourselves in. There is seldom a time when hardship is welcomed by us.
- We crave comfort and ease.
- We don’t like being hurt or worn down.
- We don’t like feeling vulnerable.
- We don’t like to lose control.
However, suffering and pain is not evidence of God’s wrath, but of God’s love. God disciplines those whom He loves. It may seem painful at the time, but the pain and suffering that you are experiencing will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness in due time (See Hebrews 12:10-11).
Jerry Bridges quotes in his book Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love*:
God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (See Romans 8:28-29).
In the midst of difficult circumstances, let us not doubt God’s love for us! His love endured the worst death ever recorded in the history of this world.
Though [Christ] was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but [he] made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-8).
Let us run to Him who knows suffering. Let us not bury our heads in the sand and pretend that this is not all happening. Let us not turn to the world for comfort (1 John 2:15-17). Let us run with rapidity to the one who suffered for us. Let us rest in the comforts of his grace (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Let us trust his promise that he works all things together for those who love him (Romans 8:28). Let us say with Paul that God’s grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). Let us not lose hope (Romans 15:13). Let us cry out with David in praise and worship of our glorious God (my emphasis added):
Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance (Psalm 66:8-12).
My friends, rest in God’s grace today for we receive strength to endure trials by His grace.
*Affiliate link – see my full disclosure here.