The one thought that I have been continuously reminded of as of late is that life is hard.
There are so many people around me that are struggling. And as I pray for those I love and ponder what the Lord may be doing, I have become keenly aware that walking through these challenges without the hope of Christ would break me. We have only two options: We can allow the hard things in life to rule us and steal away our joy and our testimonies or we can look to the refiner and perfecter of faith and trust that even in this pain, He is faithful and knows what is best for us.
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" Job 13:5a
When I think about what Jesus chose to do, I look at my own circumstances in a different light. You see, when we navigate through pain and suffering it's usually not something we volunteer for. But Jesus knowing full well the pain and anguish He would endure, chose to suffer because of His love for us.
"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
I refuse to believe that God has no purpose for allowing suffering and pain in our lives. If anything, it's a reminder of what the Gospel preaches. We as believers need to be willing to step into suffering and hard places. We need to be willing to shine light in the dark. It's our calling. Our commission.
Being refined through pain is not enjoyable, but it gives us an opportunity to watch God deliver and redeem. It refines our characters and our hearts. It helps us become more like Christ. It is my prayer for all of you that are walking through a challenging season, that you keep your eyes wide open watching for your deliverer to come. We are never alone and we can trust Him!