Looking back over my life, I am amazed as I recall the sorrows, deep waters, and flaming fires I have endured. Even the memory of some of these experiences is painful. Yet, I can say with assurance, “God’s Word is true. He brought me out of every trial and I praise him!”
I am certain that many of you reading this can describe many troubles in your past and you have a story to tell. What would your story sound like? If you love Jesus with all your heart, your testimony likely would be, “God has always brought me through. I never went completely under and those things are behind me now. I’m still here and I’m still praising the Lord!”
God is not satisfied with merely a heartfelt “thank you” from us, however. He says, “Wait just a moment, my child. I didn’t bring you through all your challenges just to make you a grateful overcomer. No, I have made a big investment in you and I won’t let you waste your experiences. Your best work is ahead of you!”
When Paul was an older man with years of experience, he spoke to his friends from his heart: “The most wonderful thing for me right now would be to go home and be with my Lord. That is my true desire. But I’m a veteran and I know I am needed here. This generation needs to see a sufferer who survives and rejoices in any affliction. Others are going to face all that I have faced and they need to know that God will bring them through. I not only have survived but I have done so with true hope. I rejoice in the Lord for all he has done for me” (see Philippians 1:21-26).
Do not let your sufferings be in vain. Be determined to learn more about God’s love and faithfulness in the midst of them.