Trials, Heavy Hearts, and Hope
A mother delivering a baby experiences extreme pain; an athlete preparing for the Olympics puts himself through agony; a cancer patient goes under the knife so a tumor can be removed. Suffering is a part of life. If you are a Christian, no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, you will encounter suffering, hardship, and testing for Christ's sake.
Wouldn't it be so much easier to not have trials, troubles, temptations, and hardships? I know I find myself often hoping trials would go away. It's my shortsighted view of eternity the causes me to fix my sights on the here and now. It's a common problem with humanity, we want relief and we want it now. The Scriptures say that man is born for trouble like sparks fly upward, but we want peace that eludes us like water running downhill. Actually we want the thing we call peace that isn't really peace at all. God's peace, his shalom, is a deep abiding sense of well-being because God is God and he is in control and we are not.
Our hearts grow heavy under the burden of unmet expectations, deep disappointments, and the neverending battle between satisfying self and pleasing God. Our appetite for sin is like a ravenous lion and God wants us to fast and watch and pray. Prayerless, we inwardly waste away while outwardly we seem to flourish.
Our only hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our faith in him, a gift from God, is an anchor for our souls. One that enters within the veil. It's based on the presence and reality of God. It's settled and founded in his sovereign faithfulness. No enemy can attack true peace and true hope supplied by Jesus Christ. No trial can extinguish the flaming beauty and fury of his magnificent grace. Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit that was given to us.
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