“But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.”
Luke 21:12-13 NLT
This verse is found doing a discourse by Jesus. He is telling His disciples that even though the Kingdom of God has come and salvation is going to be paid for with His blood, that does not mean that all the trouble in their lives will fade. Actually, because of the Cross, their troubles may increase. He says they will be persecuted, accused, and generally have a succession of bad days simply because they have identified themselves as followers of Christ.
Notice what He says next. He does not apologize for this. He does not say that He’s sorry to ‘cause so much trouble.’ He, rather, talks about the trouble we sometimes face because of our faith as rather a side note to the real goal. The real point of the whole discourse was not to glorify our trouble but to exalt the fact that it gives us a chance to glorify Jesus. It is not always what happens to you but how you respond to trouble that makes the biggest difference. Are you using your issues as a chance to draw closer to God? Are you using your current situation as an opportunity to show those around you how to stand firm in your faith despite outward pressure? What if the current difficulty you are facing is not God failing you but rather because He has faith that you will not be crushed under the pressure? And, while He is working in your life He also working in lives of those watching you. That causes the current problems we may be facing to look a little different in the light of God’s faithful love toward us.
Today, I will look at my pain as a promise that God is doing something bigger in me than I can currently see. While it is not comfortable and I will continue to pray for a way out, I will do my best to stay faithful because I trust Him to see me through to the other side.
God, when I do not always see your Hands working in my life, help me to still trust your character.