I read those words today in an email from a dear friend of mine and they jumped off the screen. She is always so honest in sharing her struggles and sorrows in life (from the death of a child many years ago to the every day ups and downs we all experience). Amazingly though, she never fails to follow up with how the Lord has moved to work all of these things for His glory which is what she was referring to in the above comment.
This has been a tough year for many people I know and love. Death of parents, loss of jobs, sicknesses, loneliness, fear. It is in these times that I am so aware and weary of the "prosperity gospel" that is so prevalent in the world today. You know, "Be a good Christian and you will find favor." or "Love God and you will be blessed."
This is simply not the truth.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 (New International Version)
James reminds us:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. -James 1:2-3 (New International Version)
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. -James 1:12
Finally, remember 1 Peter 1:6-7:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Maybe this year has left you exhaused and worn out.
Maybe this year has left you feeling high and dry.
Maybe this year has been more than you ever bargained for.
Trials are part of this life. Christians are not exempt. However, we do have eternal hope.
This Christmas, may you know that your wounds need not be wasted.
Jesus Christ came for a reason. He knows what it is like to suffer.
May you look to His arrival this week and experience His perfect love and saving grace.
2 years ago