Nothing can guarantee we'll make it through hardship without scars, slip-ups, or shaky moments. But there are things we can do to maximize our chances of suffering in a way that honors God and makes us more like Jesus. And a lot of that work begins long before the trial does.
When we truly, deeply love someone, we’re easily pleased with their gifts. They could give us a rock and we’d treasure it—because it’s from them. If their heart’s in it, our heart responds. I wondered: How pleased am I with what God gives me? What does that say about our relationship? And how does He respond to what I offer Him?
If God wants our sanctification so badly, why doesn't He just skim off our old selves and slip on the new in an instant? Why make us endure the wait?
He might be above and beyond us in just about every way. But He also draws close to us in all His holy otherness.
What do you do with the stuff that can't and won't stay buried, yet is still undeniably not what you wanted in your life?
We may not always be sure what to make of what God sends us. But we can always trust and know the One who sends it.
Our walk with God requires a similar presence of mind. In order to stick with Him through a world of temptations and uncertainty, we need to keep our focus on Him and where He is guiding us.
We can’t always control the way we feel in contentious situations. But with God’s help, we can control how we respond.
Yes, trouble may chase us. Pain may nag us. Sorrow might ambush us again and again. Guilt and shame may nip at our heels. But the only things that can keep up with us, day in and day out, all the days of our lives, are the goodness and faithful love of God. And like the Good Shepherd He is, He will send them after us relentlessly. No, scratch that – He’ll come after us Himself, bringing them with Him. Because that’s who He is.
Suffering when you can see the point is hard. Suffering when you can’t see the point is harder.