As some of you may know, I am slowly coming out of a very dark and trying season.
As I am writing this, my eyes are watering with gratitude for the new life that the Lord is breathing down on the inside of me.
Yesterday, I had a moment where I felt so lost, heart broken, and hopeless that I felt that I was dying. I somehow convinced myself that God abandoned me and that there is no hope left for me.
I couldn’t understand why I was going through what I was going through. I believed that I did everything the Lord wanted me to do—quit my job as a school teacher, go back to school, start a ministry, serve, spend time with Him, and love others. My mind couldn’t understand why bad things were happening to me when I was doing all of the right things.
Everything I worked hard for pretty much blew up in my face. Nothing was working out, I was struggling in my finances and relationships, and I was carrying around a discouraged and broken heart while painting a smile on my face. My world as I knew it was falling apart.
Why would God be allowing me to go through all of this? Does God even love and care for me? Why is God answering other peoples’ prayers and not mine? What am I doing wrong? Why is the enemy attacking me so much?
My heart and mind was plagued with fear, panic, and confusion.
I couldn’t hold onto the pain any longer—it felt like I was going to burst. I broke down and asked God why He forsaken me.
Jesus then brought me to 1 Thessalonians 3 and 1 Peter 5 where the subject of suffering is brought up. The disciples suffered and Jesus did as well.
1 Thessalonians 3:3 says: “No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.” As Christians, we are called to take up our cross and follow Jesus- and that means that suffering will be involved. God uses these afflictions to perfect what is lacking in our faith (1 Thessalonians 3:10) and so that “He may establish [our] hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
1 Peter 5 also reminds us of the sufferings that are being experienced by our brothers and sisters around the world. Even with having to endure suffering, the Bible offers us hope by reminding us that “the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after [we] have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle [us]” (1 Peter 5:10).
You see, there is no resurrection without suffering and death, there’s no purity/holiness without fire, and there’s no beauty without the ashes.
Today, I encourage you and myself to see suffering and Jesus in a whole new light. We get to be partakers of Christ’s sufferings so that His glory may be revealed knowing that our reward is in heaven. God will give us joy, peace, and strength in the trial, and will breathe life into what’s dead. He is a good Father who desires for us to experience new heights and depths of His love, mercy, and grace. We learn more about Jesus in the pit. Let us sing praises and rejoice in our Heavenly Father who has already won the victory!
Jesus loves you and so do I,