When life is troubling where do you look? If you are experiencing a great loss or intense suffering where must your gaze center? If you could go to one of two meetings, Group A that seeks to zero in on God, or Group B which seems to highlight your hurt…which one would you choose?
Dare I answer for most of us…we would most likely choose the group (Group B) that will make me (and my experience, pain, loss, etc.) the center of attention.
The Bible, in contrast, consistently exhorts Group A.
Allow Peter’s words to illuminate (Spirit, please cause Your Words to create faith in us):
1 Peter 4:12-13…19
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you,
as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings,
that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed…
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
To be sure Peter knew suffering. He would even know more pain to come–made to watch his wife crucified before being crucified (upside down) himself. The people to whom he was writing were presently experiencing FIERY TRIALS. Yet, in the midst of that pain he drew their eyes away from themselves (and their affliction) and upward–unto God.
If you would live well in suffering, you must know the God who IS–the God who is faithful. Only then will you trust Him, help others, and live well. If you turn inward, if you attend groups that cast your gaze upon yourself (you may diminish some symptoms, but never solve problems), you will never be the witness to God’s worth that you were called to be. You must live your life declaring that if all is taken away nothing is lost–I have Jesus. Jesus is enough. Jesus is my treasure.
It is in looking at God that one is redeemed and relieved. Eyes on Christ, beloved, eyes on Christ!
10,000 Blessings in The Trustworthy One,