True believers are set apart for Christ and his kingdom.
We have been made holy because the spirit of God lives and works in us to do good.
We are called by Him.
Why then does God allow painful trials and distractions in our lives?
Wouldn’t it be easier to do His work if He could make our path clear of the same suffering that the perishing world endures?
That is something I have thought about many times.
I have seen great men and women work tirelessly to help bring the lost to Christ only to watch as they suffered hardship and sickness unto death.
Persecution of Christians is increasing every day. It just doesn’t seem fair.
And yet, Scripture tells us that God is sovereign over the life of a believer.
In Psalm 84, we are told that “No good does God withhold from those whose lives are righteous.”
All those who are in Christ have been made righteous by his blood.
So why is it good that His people suffer?
I hope this message will give hope to those who are struggling to believe that Christ is with them in the struggle they face.
The enduring love of God never leaves you for a moment no matter what you are going through.
He sees your pain and counts your tears.
Your cries for help are being heard.
He has not forgotten you.
He knows how to heal your breaking heart.
He can make you whole and give you peace.
It is not easy to hold on in the battle, but to do anything less would be to surrender to the enemy.
Don’t sell yourself short.
God is in control even when you are not.
His plan for your life was perfected long before the foundation of the earth.
You were bought at a price.
He is not going to let you fail.
Every believer in Scripture had to suffer pain and hardship in their walk of faith.
They had to trust that God was with them even through their greatest battles.
In Genesis, Joseph had to endure over 10 years of bondage. He had shackles on his neck and feet night and day.
And yet he trusted that his God was still in control.
For all those years, he had to wait on God who was preparing him to be the top commander in the army of Pharaoh.
He had no idea God was making him ready for such royalty.
He was a young man when he when into prison, and for years he mourned the memory of his family.
Why did God allow him to withstand such a test?
It was because God’s plans for Joseph were greater than any ideas Joseph had for his life.
He had to be molded and shaped into the man of God who had the faith needed to do his work.
God was going to use him in a mighty way.
And God had an eternal plan.
The royal robes that Joseph wore as ruler in Pharaoh’s kingdom were like rags compared to the robes of glory awaiting Joseph when he died.
When Jesus told his disciples what they would have to do to follow Him, many of them grumbled and left.
Jesus turned to his apostles and asked them if they were going to leave also.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Peter was exactly right.
Those who stayed with Christ trusted that he was greater than their doubts.
No matter what black cloud is filling your life, there is one greater than your problems who has the power to cause every second of your pain to be used for your good.
Even if you don’t see God’s hand in your struggle now, you need to know that he is in full control of all that you face.
You don’t have to see or feel God to know that He loves you enough to do what is good for you.
Let Him finish the work he started in you.
Don’t doubt Him.
Those disciples who walked away from Christ had no idea they were leaving their only source of hope in this world.
They left the one who could give them everlasting life.
Your situation is timed.
Your pain is being monitored.
And you are not going to drown in your tears.
Christ has a way to take you through your fears and pain.
He grieves with you in your trouble.
He has a reason for you to face this mountain.
We are too close to the coming of Christ to give up now and walk away.
Let your faith be proven genuine.
Keep your eyes on Christ.
He will never fail you.
Even if things are not done your way, trust your life to the One who gave His life for you.
Marianne Bernard attends Old North Church in Canfield.