21st MAY 2020
“God is our refuge and strength; A very present help in trouble – Psalm 46:1
“Every cloud has a silver lining”; meaning that in the midst of every problem, there exists side by side, a trace of the solution. This trace of goodness is a divine gem left behind by God, not only to heal the wounds of betrayal and disappointment but also, like a compass, to show us a narrow path to perfect healing and restoration. Everyone would experience one form of suffering or the other in their lifetime. It does not matter whether you are a Moslem, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, rich, poor, black, or white. For instance, there are natural disasters, accidents, pandemics, terminal ailment, and death in most families. These things affect everyone no matter who they are. However, the Scripture says in, 1 Corinthians 10:13 thus, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” This means that suffering is a part of human experience, but God usually would bring forth His healing and restoration to us in a mysterious way. As believers, you must believe in your heart that God has called you for His purpose. Therefore, you have to believe also that whatever happens to you in life, God has a purpose for it, and He knows about it, even before it happens. Interestingly, God is telling us today that He is ever-present with us in the days of trouble. God is the silver lining that brings forth restoration and healing to us. Therefore, during pains, pandemics, and confusion, such as we find ourselves in this period due to COVID – 19 pandemics, God does work out something good for us, provided we love God, and we are ready to glorify Him, even in our pains and disappointment. (Romans 8:28)
There are many reasons why we suffer. Sometimes, God allows us to suffer for the following reasons:
· In order to help us grow spiritually and to learn the lessons that God desires for us. This was how Jesus grew up. The scripture says in Hebrews 5:8, that Jesus, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered”. At some other times, we suffer because of sin (Hebrews 12:5).
· Sufferings can come up due to our mistakes or wrong choices.
· Suffering can come up for no other reason other than just being at the right place at the wrong time. After all, some have suffered accidents right in their homes or in their places of work. Some have been kidnapped right in their homes or on the way to either work or home and have been made to go through extreme torture.
Notwithstanding the above reason, it appears nothing happens without a cause. Therefore, WHATEVER HAPPENS, LEAN ON GOD, only God can heal the pains and prevent further damage. It is true that some problems in life can be quite stormy and can as well shake the roots of our faith. When we face the storms of life, we need to be able to find the silver lining, i.e. something to hold on to, something to hope for so that we do not end up allowing ourselves to be blown away by the storms. How then do we recognize the silver lining and take advantage of the same for our benefit?
1. Submit to God and realize for once that He is a central part of your life; therefore, He would not let you suffer without help.
2. Recognize the fact that the storms of life are the crucible for our faith. 1 Peter 1:7 says that “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. Therefore, trials are the crucible in which our faith is helped, tested, and purified.
3. When we have been so tested and our faith is seen to be genuine, we receive a reward from God. Our faith becomes a “Living Faith” which allows us to walk by faith and not by sight. (1 Peter 1:8 )
4. The outcome of our faith makes the storms of life worth enduring. We are given an extraordinarily strong spirit of endurance which makes us bear the pains of persecution and tribulation.
Father in the name of Jesus Christ, I trust in you today for deliverance; change the evil circumstances of this moment and endow me with a strong spirit to enable me to serve your glory with patient and endurance. Father, I know you have called me according to your purpose; therefore, I declare that all things shall work together for my good. AMEN.
FURTHER READING: 1 Peter 1:6-9