Pain and suffering is not something that we gladly endorse or look forward to. Yet, it comes and none of us is exempt. As sure as we live, we will experience heartache. As sure as we live, we will go through battle after battle, we will move from storm to storm. In the midst of all this, we may feel like giving up. We may feel like throwing in the towel. But, we can’t.
Taking a cowardly stand in our trials is not and should not be a part of our destiny. It’s by God’s grace – His unmerited favor – that we are more than conquerors. Through Christ, we have victory. Victory over the sorrowful conditions of life. Victory over senseless violence. Victory over the rollback of moral law and the constant decay of society. And, we have the ultimate victory over the enemy.
God exhorts us to be alert and to remain watchful. He prompts us to be on the lookout for the enemy. Why? Because the enemy is constantly prowling like a “roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” And yet, even as the enemy lurks, we are called to not just be on alert and prepared but to stand firm and be strong in our faith. (1 Peter 5:8)
Every trial, every circumstance we face is nothing new to God. Many have suffered the same long before us and we have their testimony that we can look to as helpers of our own faith. (read Hebrews) So, in this that we suffer, in that we experience pain, it is only for a while because, ultimately, whatever we lose will be restored and our Father will support and strengthen us. He will give us a sure foundation not just eternally but even now.
It is because of this promise mentioned in 1 Peter 5 that we can embrace our pains. We can embrace our sufferings knowing that everything will work out for our good. This is our point of victory, that though we suffer, though we experience the sorrowful conditions of life, we are assured of God’s grace, His favor, and His promise to restore us, support us, to strengthen us and to firmly establish us with Him, with Christ.