And Then I Was OK

Published on Sep 28th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
And Then I Was OK

And Then I Was OK

Over the past month or so I have had the privilege to listen to the stories of a number of people. One was from someone who had lost someone very close to them. Another was from a woman who was struggling for a while in the restoration of a relationship. A good friend of mine was struggling with his joy. Lastly, another friend was struggling with difficult circumstances that continued to pile up. I am sure we can identify with one or more of these individuals. Each one remained faithful to the Lord while walking through deep waters but peace and joy were dimly lit lights in their lives. One day may have been better than the other but their hearts were heavy and their struggles continued. For each of these individuals the struggles continued for a long period of time. Then, this past month, each shared with me that their joy had returned. The one friend shared with me that she woke up and it was as if the darkness was lifted and the forgiveness that she had given months before was now accompanied by the restoration of the relationship. Her obedience was now accompanied by her joy. Each shared how they were still aware of the struggle and how they knew there may be bad days ahead but the darkness of the soul was gone and the joy of the Lord was in place.

Yesterday I read a great passage that seemed to shout to me about each of my friends. In I Peter 5:6-11 Peter exhorts us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. The sufferings that we would be facing were designed for his glory and for our growth. Listen to verse 10, “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.” God reached into the lives of my friends, touched their lives with suffering in order to lift them up into the image of Christ, and then when that period of suffering had accomplished his goals he restored, confirmed, strengthened, and established them. I can think of nothing greater in our lives then to be restored, confirmed, strengthened, and established by God himself. They shared with me that the joy they knew now was a deeper joy. A joy that had been tried by fire and had come out shining brighter in their lives. It is a joy based on the knowledge of the work of God in their lives that could only have been produced through suffering. They would not have chosen the path of suffering but their heavenly Father knew what was best for them and he brought them into, through, and out of their suffering. Even when they wanted to run in the midst of the suffering he kept them and humbled them.

I want to encourage my other friends. Friends whose joy is dimly lit in their lives. Friends who have been walking for a long time in the path of suffering. There is an end. One day you will wake up and the joy of the Lord will be restored. Your walk of obedience will once again be filled with the bounce of the joy of the Lord. Your feeble hands will be lifted up. Stay humble. Stay under the mighty hand of God. He, himself, will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. He has promised that these times of difficulty are designed to lift you up. I have seen the faces of those who have come out on the other side. I have heard their joy. God’s trials are worth it.

Comments are closed.