Do you ever wonder if all of the trials, suffering, and pain you are going through right now has a purpose?
Or ask, “What is the point?”.
Or, “How is God going to use this?”
I have wondered…..
I remember in Fall 2006 saying to God, “I can’t possibly handle anything else. I can’t hold any more pain. I feel I have lived two lives, have been witness to and experienced more suffering than any one person should. How much does one person have to hold?”
The following flashed through my mind when I made that statement:
- Preacher’s Kid
- Missionary’s Kid
- Parent with Mental Illness
- Lived in and traveled to Third World Countries
- Military Spouse
- Death of a Sibling
- Trained as a Health Care Provider
- A new mom with two little ones under the age of 3
Within a month of making that statement, I was diagnosed with Depression.
Did God put a stop to the trials? No.
Was I expecting Him to? Not really.
I accept that we will have trials in this life.
I was simply tired.
Tired of struggling, tired of fighting, tired of hiding from my own pain.
Rest assured, God knows exactly what you are going through. He has suffered like we have suffered. He has been tempted like we have been tempted.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Hebrews 5:8-9)
In case you missed it, let me restate this for you.
Christ is able to sympathize with us.
Christ has been tempted in every way we have been tempted.
He learned obedience through the suffering he endured.
Draw close to Christ with CONFIDENCE.
Draw near to Him and He will give you Grace.
A Free Gift, no strings attached.
We will receive Mercy and find Grace IN TIME OF NEED.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
God understands the process of refinement our current suffering is bringing us through.
He gets us. He gets you. He gets me.
He knows us and wants to be known by us.
Suffering is not the end. It is the means to an end.
Suffering refines us. It’s a Good Thing. Do Not Run from it.
I have pleaded with God for understanding, wishing to see into the future in order to understand how what I am going through now fits in with His eternal plan. Desperate for grace, for freedom from pain and suffering, ready to be done laboring in this life.
I have been there.
I can testify, as one of the Broken, that He will use you in your brokenness.
I look back at an old journal (I had just begun writing again after five years of silence after my brother’s death).
In May 2007, I wrote these words:
“I am full of joy in Christ. I am confident that He is preparing me for a specific task for Him. All my trials I am going through, all of my thinking and analyzing and growing in Christ is good, and I am so thankful because I know the Lord is using all things for good and to His glory. The Lord is using me to bless others, and I am so excited! Lord, you are working on me. I hear your voice everyday and I am overflowing with Your Spirit. How is this possible? I literally feel I will burst if I don’t tell people the love I have for You.”
I have walked through the darkness, and come out on the other side. And, now I can honestly say, it is worth it! I now understand James’ statement:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
My soul has changed. The scales have been peeled off of my eyes. I now see Christ where before I saw the scars of this world.
Press on, dear friend. Do not give up. Cling to Him and he will carry you through to the other side. Be patient and trust that He has you in the palm of his hand.
Rest in His assurances.
If I could, I would hold you right now and pray this truth over you and into you. Asking God to fill you with the peace that surpasses all understanding.
You can do this. You can trust that all is not lost. That in fact your labor today is worthy of eternity.
My heart’s cry is to give you this word of encouragement today.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 41:31)
It is a New Year. Maybe you have made a list of resolutions. Maybe you have even checked off one or two.
I challenge you today to add this Resolution to the top of your list.
Pursue Christ through the darkness.
Do not be afraid.
Lean into Him with all your might and Trust that you will not stumble.
He has you in the palm of His hand.
This post originally appeared at Finding Purpose in the Pain where I am a contributing writer.