Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10
I’m guessing everyone reading this letter has experienced grief, fear, uncertainty, discouragement, and lack of hope. In these last couple of months, I’ve seen people die of COVID-19, cancer, experience paralysis, and experience all kinds of disease. It is tough.
Just recently, God has been speaking to me through His Spirit; by using devotionals, books, and Scripture. Let me share a few with you for your encouragement.
Katherine Wolfe suffered a life-changing, debilitating stroke in April 2008. She has had 11 operations since that stroke. In the book Hope Heals, by Jay and Katherine Wolf, Katherine writes: “I’ve come to realize that believing in God is not possible without also believing God. He says He is my hope and strength I am taking Him at his word.”
Katherine made the statement at her 1st Thanksgiving at home, not able to swallow, in a wheelchair, paralyzed on the right side of her face. “I don’t think this world will work for me. It won’t work.”
Katherine often felt God was asking her during all her different operations and trials- Will you trust Me still?
Jay remarks “Do we want what God gives or do we want Him? Do we want the deliverance from the hurt or do we want the Deliverer of hope?” He also said we can celebrate the gift of this new life together. “We can rejoice that in the midst of the mundane, we can remember the miracle.”
And at the end of the book, Katherine writes “I’ve learned to embrace the suffering. Pain has been an instructor, teaching me deeper truths about myself, God, and bringing me closer to Christ.”
In New Morning Mercies, by Paul David Tripp, he says, “What He has promised you is Himself. He is not first working on your happiness; He is committed to your holiness. When you’re tempted to think that God is loving you less, because your life is hard, He is actually loving you more.”
These writings help me gain perspective. Life is hard. It gets weary. I want God to do more of what I ask Him to do. But, He is a sovereign, holy, faithful, forgiving, gracious, and merciful God. I will choose to trust Him.
I’ll close with these verses:
I would have despaired if I had not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with My loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3