Trials are difficult. I don’t like them. I aim to avoid them. But they come. At times, they sideswipe me. I feel knocked down and it’s doubtful how I’d climb out of that pit.
I heard once that God trusts us with our pain, and it depends what we do with it, if we’ll choose to praise and honor the Lord, or if we’ll blame everyone else for it.
I learned that suffering is a sacred thing. God has specific windows of opportunity to show up during a difficult stage in life in ways that He would not have otherwise been glorified. I have personally experienced deep levels of peace and vibrant energy when I rehearse in my mind that God is walking through the fire with me.
I am reminded that He is a Holy God. He is pure, perfect and right. Suffering is, at times, a form of sanctification. It separates us from the mainstream and refines our relationship with the Lord. Don’t you notice a renewed strength in your disposition after going through a challenging phase in life or after struggling with something untrue? After you’ve held on to God, isn’t it a victorious feeling to know that you didn’t back down? That you didn’t run away? That you held on and the Lord came through, as He does every time?
Those experiences bring a dynamic meaning to contentment. It isn’t a picture of a ho-hum believer, passively allowing situations to happen. It’s a proactive, fervent reach for God. I think sometimes we envision contentment as sitting still, with no opinion or discernment. Maybe to some people, that might be true. But in other cases, it is a real and almost electric steadiness, a deep and solid resolution that we will not back down from what God has for us. Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
I pray that you have an opportunity to change your perspective on suffering and race to God for protection, perspective, and most of all, contentment.