Suffering can look different for each of us. Maybe it looks like sickness, financial strain, or infertility. Whatever it is, when trouble hits, we each have two options: We can run or face it head-on. The word that Jesus speaks to the church in Smyrna is a hard one, but it raises an important question: How do we overcome our worst fears?
Sometimes God doesn’t deliver us from the trial, but He saves us through it. Jesus promised his followers before the crucifixion, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus himself learned obedience by what He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8).
Just because we’re in pain or going through a difficult season doesn’t mean we are being punished for past or present sins or that God is against us. God uses difficult seasons to teach us important lessons. Our job is to find out what those lessons are. Difficult circumstances are the perfect opportunity to draw closer to God through prayer, reading the Bible, and worshipping through music. When we are weak, we are the most aware and dependent on His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
In a difficult season, God wants to give us something we’ve never had before because we’ve never needed it before. Let’s not miss it. Instead, seek God who has overcome all of our troubles, and trust Him more.
- Are you in a difficult season of life right now? What is something that God could be teaching you through this season?
- Think back to a difficult season you’ve overcome. What helped you overcome that season? What lessons did God teach you through it?
- How does God want to use you to help someone you know through a difficult season right now?