by Guest Writer Hannah Heinritz
Have you ever been at a point in your life that you have been truly perplexed?
Where you’ve sat down, put your head in your hands, and said, “Lord, I really don’t understand what you’re doing in my life and the world around me.” Have you ever felt like you’re troubled on EVERY side?
Have you been burdened by living under persecution, not being in danger of your life per se, but rather that daily nagging rejection and disapproval of those around you because you’re living for the Lord? Or do you feel “cast down”; you just don’t have the strength or energy to go on? You wake up in the morning exhausted and pray, “How long Lord?”
As I have walked through a lot of troubles these past few months, I have often felt completely perplexed, troubled, persecuted and “cast down.” But over and over God keeps bringing to mind a precious message on 2 Corinthians 4.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
God does NOT sugar-coat our suffering. His Word acknowledges the pain we endure, and the emotions we feel. But even in that, He offers us something so much bigger and more powerful – HOPE.
There is HOPE.
I don’t know what you are going through today, what you have been going through or what you will be going through in the days to come…but God does, and He has a plan for your suffering.
He never allows suffering to come needlessly. He is not a cruel God who takes delight in our misery and pain. There is ALWAYS a purpose to the trials He sends. He is equipping you to minister His healing and His grace to those around you who are hurting. It’s only as we receive the comfort of God that we can give that same comfort to the broken people all around us.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them, which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
God opened my eyes to the fact that all the books and all the great conferences in the world will never be as valuable as the tailor-made trials that God brings into my life. God knows exactly what lessons you and I need and what dross needs to be burned out of our lives, and in His love and wisdom He knows exactly the best way to accomplish that purpose in each of our lives. When you are broken and feeling like your life is falling apart, God is at work and it is through that pain that He is equipping you to minister to others now and in the future.
You may be at the point the Apostle Paul was at when he said in 2 Corinthians 1:8,
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.”
Maybe you’re in that same place and you’re thinking, “I feel like I’m drowning and I can’t make it up for air. I think I’m dying inside. If I make it through this, I’ll never be the same.”
The painful truth is that God does not intend for you to be the same! 2 Corinthians 4:10 says, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
For you or me to be effective in ministering to any person, God must strip and mold us. The suffering God sends is PURPOSEFUL. God is sovereignly ordaining these circumstances of suffering in each of our lives. As the sinful selfish part of me dies, the life of Jesus will be manifested more and more in my life.
In the fires of affliction, God does His work of sanctification in our lives (Romans 5:3-5). For this we should praise Him.
When we grasp this beautiful perspective, we can truly come to the point where we can say with Paul, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
So what do we do in these moments where we are perplexed?
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Go boldly before the Lord for the grace and mercy you so desperately need. Jesus is there for you. He understands. And remember, there is a purpose for your pain, and if you let Him, God will use this for His great glory and your good.
This guest post was written by Hannah Heinritz. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries click here.
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