18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. - Psalm 34:18-19
Having spent so much time with these two verses over the past three weeks, I've grown to love them in a whole new way. He is near to us. He cares for us in our trials. He loves us.
As followers of Christ, we know this, but life can be so hard sometimes. Sometimes we face a trial that seems unbearable, and the knowledge that He is for us, that He is near to us in our pain, and that He is working all things for our good can feel more like head knowledge than heart knowledge. When the hard season of trials don't seem to be passing quickly, and we see no end in sight, when we just want Him to just remove us from the difficult situation, or when the pattern of trials upon trials starts to feel cruel, we can be left feeling like we are alone.
If God is sovereign over everything in my life, then why is everything so hard and so painful all at once? It's times like these that make it so hard to fix our eyes on Him, especially when there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. It's so important in these moments to remind ourselves, and to remind each other, that God is not cruel or unkind, He is not indifferent and He is not pouring out His wrath on us.
We need to remember He cares more about showing us who He is and making is more like Christ than He does making us comfortable in this moment. He wants us to esteem redemption more than we esteem our comfort. That's how He comforts us when we're broken hearted, He draws us closer to Him.
It would be wonderful if God would simply answer our prayers the way we want Him to every single time. But that wouldn't produce the heart God wants for us. God doesn't want us in a constant state of comfort and ease - He's called us to so much more. And to get there, we must be pruned and refined. Our valleys may be low, but it is in those valleys that we find His grace in a way that we cannot possibly find on the mountaintops.
I so deeply desire to know Him more, to glorify Him and magnify Him with my life. This requires that my faith be tested in ways that I don't want or in ways I wouldn't choose. It is in those deepest seasons of trials that we must fight for our faith by fighting the urge to give up on Him.
I love this sentence I read in a devotion: The fight for faith in suffering is the fight to remember, believe, and feel the truth that in all God is, and in all God does, He is good and works all things for our good — even if we need to reach the end of the story before we see how.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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