When we lost our pregnancies, facing recurrent miscarriages, going through the fertility treatments, my heart groaned in sorrow upon sorrow.
Paul’s words echoed louder to me when his friend Epaphroditus was sick to almost to the point of death. He was scared of the future, after all, it’s human to be thrown off the radar.
He says, “But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.”_ Phillipians 2:27.
We had pain. We were in pain. The emotional pain was louder. Some understood, others were used as vessels to draw us closer to our Savior.
Their words were like a shrapnel, piercing already wounded hearts. No they didn’t pray for us, they gossipped. They whispered behind our backs and behind their dark veils.
Pain is a microphone. And the more it hurts, the louder you get. Suffering isn’t an obstacle to being used by God. It is an opportunity to be used like never before.
This truth leaps off the pages of Scripture again and again and again.
Joseph suffered for years as a prisoner for crimes he didn’t commit, but it only made him louder.
In the end he was raised to the right hand of Pharaoh and put in a position to save the lives of his brothers, who had tried to kill him (Genesis 45:5).
Esther went through the unspeakably difficult trial of becoming an orphan when both her parents died (Esther 2:7). Yet her adoption by Mordecai set into motion the events by which she would become queen of Persia and prevent a holocaust.
David was forced to go on the run, while he was hunted by his lunatic of a father-in-law, Saul. David was homeless, living in and out of caves in the wilderness of Israel, and yet it was in those caves he poured out his heart to God in worship (1 Samuel 23–24, 26).
His greatest praise came from his darkest days.
When the apostle Paul was saved, a prophecy was given to Ananias, who had the unique challenge of discipling this recently converted terrorist. God told him that Paul would stand before kings, gentiles, and the nation of Israel and that he would suffer many things for Jesus’s sake (Acts 9:15–16).
There are two elements there that we must not miss: (1) Paul would be used powerfully, and (2) Paul would suffer greatly. I believe those are actually two sides of the same coin that exists within every calling.
It would be while he was suffering for Jesus that he would do the great things (speaking to the Jews, speaking to the children of Israel, and speaking to kings).
Here’s where this concept comes to your front door. Just as Ananias was to tell Paul that he was a chosen vessel, so you are part of a chosen generation. No ordinary child. You are royalty, remember? A unique part of God’s forever family.
But there’s a catch: just like Paul, you will suffer many things on the way to your destiny being fulfilled. Pain is guaranteed. The Bible says that the rain falls on the evil and the good alike (Matthew 5:45).
Part of living on this fallen planet cursed by sin is that trials are inherent. That’s just the way it is. What about for the child of God? What happens when you give your life to Jesus Christ? The difficulties ramp up to a whole other level.
Jesus said that he wants us to shine brightly. He didn’t just say, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12); He also said, “You are the light of the world”(Matthew 5:14).
Daniel said that those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3). Guess what? God wants to make a star out of you.
That’s wonderful—but with great power comes great responsibility. The enemy is not going to let you capture his flag without some serious flak.
When you stand up as a Christian, attempt to share your faith, and live to see lost people won, you’ll invite suffering, persecution, and opposition your way.
This is why Paul told Timothy, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Adversity is going to happen. In fact, it’s part of your calling. We’re told in 1st Thessalonians 3:3, “No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this”.
You will lose pregnancies.You will be stung by death.
Finances may be dented. Relationships might fray.
You will be hated for no reason. Jesus warned his followers that the world hates him, and if you’re trying to follow him, the world’s going to hate you too.
Adversity will attempt to plunder your FAITH. This is where we see through the eyes of PEACE.
Peace doesn’t mean that the clouds aren’t dark enough. Peace doesn’t mean that the storms will not hull on. Peace doesn’t mean that future will be crystal clear and crisp. Peace means that you are sure standing on one who is PEACE.
Proverbs 10:25 says, “When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.”
Trials reveal foundations,whether sand or rock, but in the middle of a trial is not the ideal time to build one. Right now is the time to strengthen your FAITH, by seeing through the eyes of PEACE, on peace.
His peace is transcendent above all human understanding, above all pious platitudes you can get through any trial. His peace carried us through, and that came peace will carry you through too.
It doesn’t matter what whirlpool seems to suck you in. His peace is unfathomably great. He is there.
If you are willing to do the hard work now, then when dark days come, you will be ready. Your hands will rise to the heavens by instinct.
You will not faint in the day of adversity. Your trial will not be easy or over quickly, but you will get through it. Your anchor will hold within the veil, and one day the forerunner will bring you safely to the other side.
His peace will keep you. His peace will ground you.See through the eyes of His Peace.