Life is good. Every day there are little blessings that I thoroughly enjoy and am grateful for.
But also… Life is hard. It just is. We all find ourselves facing challenges at one time or another, and sometimes (like now) even several at once.
It can be discouraging and depressing, and if you’re like me, you question, “What in the world was God thinking to allow this to happen? This surely wasn’t really His will, was it?”
This morning, as I sipped my coffee on my front porch and watched the sun come up, I was encouraged with some verses from I Peter 4.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings…
Now, I’m pretty sure my “trials” are not to the extent that I’m actually partaking of Christ’s sufferings. Moving on down through the verses, I’m not currently “reproached for the name of Christ”… nor do I “suffer as a murderer, a thief, and evildoer” and I try my very best to not be “a busybody in other people’s matters.” However, I appreciated the last verse of that chapter:
Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
“Suffering” seems like a strong word for the “challenges” I’m currently dealing with, but I think the verse still applies. These trials are, in spite of my questions, “according to the will of God” and I can trust my “faithful Creator.”
The next chapter gives a little more insight into what might actually be going on…
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you… May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
So instead of resisting these trials… and balking at them… and feeling sorry for myself… the idea is to “humble myself” (which is not all that hard to do when you realize it’s “under the mighty hand of God”) and to cast all my care upon Him… and then to count on being eventually perfected, established, strengthened, and settled.
I’m really looking forward to that “settled” part especially!