For Those In Christ Who Suffer!
Gaining and Maintaining a Gospel-Perspective on Suffering
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isa. 43:1-2 (NIV)
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 Pet. 5:10 (ESV)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, thank you for parenting us so well through the Scriptures. You don’t merely give us “verses to claim,” you reveal yourself as a Father to know—a Father who loves and cares for us with daily mercies and grace upon grace.
Today, in particular, thank you for validating our sufferings, and for pledging yourself to us in our hard places and broken stories. There is no name you call us more precious to us than, “Mine” (Isa. 43:1). We are thankful to be yours, and we relish everything that comes with belonging to you.
Father, you don’t say to us “if” we pass through deep waters and rushing rivers, but “when” we do so, you will be with us. Thank you for being upfront about life between the resurrection and return of Jesus. There will be difficult seasons in this life, but you are just as sovereign over our sorrows as our joys.
Grant us the perspective Peter had. No matter how many years you give us in this world, suffering in this life is for “a little while” (1 Pet. 5:10). In the big scheme of things, it’s only going to hurt for “a little while“. Thank you for your promise to “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us”—in, through, and after our sufferings.
And grant us Paul’s perspective too—his “gospel math.” The glorious things you’ve prepared for us in the future, far, far, far out value the present sufferings we’re called to endure now. Father, grant us the grace we need to suffer to your glory; strength to trust you in hardships and with our heartaches; and wisdom and kindness to care for our fellow sufferers. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.