When some followers of Christ find themselves suffering, their immediate response is “Lord, deliver me from this, immediately!” He can and sometimes He does. But He often does not. When He does not it may be because it is His will to grow spiritual character in the life of His follower.
When days of darkness come upon us, let us not count it a strange thing. Rather let us remember that lessons are learned on such days, which would never have been learned in sunshine.
Lots of families and friends will be getting together for the holidays which are fast approaching. Even though there may be problems in the lives of some of our close relationships, look for something in them to be thankful for and focus on that for the time that you are together with them.
Many of us can trust God for the good things that comfort and sustain us. But do we have the faith and the knowledge of God to see Him in the challenges that make the difference for us between spiritual growth and spiritual atrophy?
Believers, we must live our lives here on earth knowing that we don’t belong here. We will escape the battles and the struggles one day.
It’s been a long time, a long hard slog, and we feel discouraged. We know God has helped us. We know He has seen us through so far… but will it ever end? Will we be hiding in the wilderness forever?? Will our finances ever get straightened out? Will our health, or the health of a loved one, ever get better??
In the midst of struggle tinged with pain
I must never once forget
That the Son who made the brightest skies
will raise me up to them yet.
Suffering may endure for a season,
And we wonder when relief will come.
Is this for a time of testing
A really deep trial for some?
Anyone who has ever lost patience and pulled an unripe apple off the tree knows firsthand the price of being too hasty. All things have been appointed a time to begin, a time to grow, and a time to be fruitful. This is an inescapable reality of our world, regardless of how inventive we get with altering our environments or distracting our minds.
Our clothing consists of hearts that are tender and filled with compassion displaying mercy; human-kindness that overflows to meet the needs of others; a humble preference to put others first; a meek, spirit-controlled temperament; and the willingness to go the distance with others without complaint—these are the new clothes.