Tribulation… we know it will happen … the Bible tells us so... “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 (NASB). We can also reasonably conclude from this scripture that our suffering is not random or without purpose.
I’ve read lots of articles and sermons that expressed the general explanation of self-examination to be sure we are walking uprightly and assuming we are, we’re asking God for an end to the suffering and He’s not delivering, then it either isn’t good for us or it isn’t time. The solution: Just trust Him and His timing because He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. And every bit of that is true and I believe it deep in the core of my being. But I have times of weakness and begin to get very discouraged and feel broken beyond repair. Like right now.
I love to write down the things God teaches me and share them with anyone who wants to read them, but because I am wandering around in a deep dark valley that has lasted for three years, I stopped writing. One thing that “stole” my incentive was thinking I was not qualified to write anymore because of being in such a valley. The Adversary told me a lie (John 8:44) and I foolishly agreed with him.
I have read all of the “encouraging” scriptures relevant to just such a situation including:
1 Peter 4:12 (AENT) “My beloved, be not dismayed at the trials that befall you as if some strange thing had come upon you; for these things are for your probation.”
1 Peter 1:7 (AENT) “so that the proof of your faith may appear more precious than refined gold that is tested by fire, to glory and honor and praise at the manifestation of Y’shua the Mashiyach:”
James 1:3-4, 12 (AENT) 3. “For you know that the trial of (your) faith, makes you possess patience. 4. And let patience have its perfect work so that you may be complete and perfect and may lack nothing.”
12. “Blessed is the man who endures temptations so that when he is proved he may receive a crown of life which Elohim has promised to them that love Him.”
But when I read 1 Corinthians 4:7 (AENT) “For who has seen into you? Or what have you, which you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you brag as if you did not receive it?” I was reminded that my love for writing and freely sharing what God has taught me is a gift from Him…what do I have that I did not receive from Him? I thought, “I’m dropping the ball!”
At that moment, I resolved to do as I had read in one of the many articles and sermons I had pondered: “But I am God’s daughter, and I’m trusting with all I have (as weak as my faith may be) that He will not let me go. In my brokenness, all I can do is believe that He will carry me through and prove Himself faithful.” From: The Wearying Burden of Ongoing Suffering.
And as I soaked in this lesson, the opportunity arrived in my email inbox to write about how I have been patched, though once broken. None of us are without cracks and patches but our cracks and patches are meant to be shared in order to help others. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NASB)