There are trials for each of us every single day, hitting us in some way or another…
With the economy
With the call from the doctor
With the housing market
With our rebellious teenagers
With our families, marriages, and kids
With the gas prices constantly on the rise
With the temptations from the evil one
With the pressure from the jobs that we have to have
It seems that almost every person I have talked to this week, either in person or in bloggy land, is experiencing some sort of trial or is suffering. It breaks my heart. I want so badly for things to be “right”. I want your health to be perfect, I want your kids to be kind, courteous, and respectful young adults, I want you to live in abundance…but more than I want these things, your Heavenly Father does too.
You see, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized that God was preparing a blessing for me on the other side of the suffering.
James 1:12 (NLT) –God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Does it make it easier to accept the suffering knowing that the blessing awaits on the other side?
The “Patty Perfect Pastor’s Wife” in me wants to say an energetic (fist raised in the air) YES, but the real me…the completely 100% authentic, real, and human me says…yes, but it still stinks to suffer.
But check out what God’s Word says below:
James 1:2 (TM) – Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Did you catch the last two sentences? Let me show them to you again,
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
You are right where HE wants you to be. It is not an accident, it is not something He doesn’t know about…He’s doing a good work in you THROUGH the suffering.
You know what I love about that, even though I don’t necessarily love the suffering, is that He promises to be there with us. Not just, “I’ll be there”, but it says below that He comes alongside us through it…
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (TM) – All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
Oh, Oh, Oh…did you notice the part about we will be able to come alongside someone else and be there for them just like God was for us. Oh.My.Goodness…isn’t He so amazing?!?!
It takes a real storm in the average person’s life to make him realize how much worrying he has done over the squalls.
You see, there is so much to learn while we are in the midst of our suffering. The greatest thing about it is this…HE will raise you up and bring you through it…
1 Peter 5:10 (NLT) – In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
and because He is such a comforter and loving Father…
Psalm 34:6 (NLT) – In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
Please please please hear me on this…whatever you are dealing with right now is not an accident. You didn’t just have bad stuff happen to you. There is a plan, a reason, and a blessing on the other side. God is there, even in the midst, how can He not be. He is the Beginning, the End, the Alpha, the Omega, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, He is, was, and forever will be the GREAT I AM!
So seek Him through it, pray to Him, and be ready for the blessing.
Psalm 71:20 (NIV) – Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
Praising Him in the Suffering,