“It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name!… If you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.”1 Peter 4:16, 19
After you experienced your spiritual conversion and began to grow in your faith, did more struggles invade your life?
When we take that step of following Christ, life seems to become harder. Struggles come flying from every angle and we begin to doubt. The enemy wants us to believe that we made the wrong choice. The world around us may throw harsh words or place more doubt for our belief when our life seems to be falling around us.
Should we retreat or glorify God?
It’s our Christian faith that is the glimmer of light shining in the darkness. Jesus tells us in the parable in Matthew 5:14-15, our light isn’t meant to be hidden but to shine. Suffering through our trials allows us to draw on the strength of God more. It allows Him to do His work in us, shining the light on His ability. It reveals His greatest love for us as He rescues us from the suffering. When we trust Him with our lives, He finds a way to bring goodness through His unfailing love, producing His greatest work in us.
Many years ago, I found myself growing deep in my faith – resetting my relationship with God. The waves started crashing harder as the difficulties of my life seemed to magnify. I found myself wanting to pray, needing to pray. Through the difficult circumstance in my life, my desire to sit with God in a quiet space and pray threw a monkey wrench into a key relationship in my life. God knew this was my vehicle to hearing Him during this dark time. God was creative. He found a way for me to pray, a place for me to go to pray. It was through these daily moments of prayer that He sustained me, strengthened me, and gave me peace in this trial. As I placed myself in His hands during these times of prayer, His love rescued me. I found so much refuge, as if He sheltered me under His wings (Psalm 91:4).
I know during that period of my life God knew exactly what I needed and would find a way for me to receive it. I think God invites us in those difficult moments to keep treading along the raging rivers and allow Him to be our rescue raft. Our job is to receive Him, to glorify Him, and let Him do the rest.
My prayer for you is that when the waves look like huge barrels and come crashing in, you remain courageous, maintaining your course, glorifying God and trusting He will help you ride the wave.