In 1 Peter 5:10, it says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Why do we have trials? Why do we have to suffer through situations? Why can’t we take the “after you have suffered a little while” part out and skip straight to “will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Why does life have to be hard? Why do we have to make hard decisions in life? Instead of asking these questions, ask yourself, what are the benefits of this trial that I am going through? What is happening to me as I am going through this process?
The Bible describes Job as a perfect and upright man that feared God. He worshipped God and kept his commandments, and he was also a man of great wealth. In an instant, all of that changed. Not only did he lose his wealth and children, but his body was struck with sickness. One morning, he woke up feeling blessed, fortunate, and on top of the world, but by the end of the day, life as he knew it took a drastic and horrible turn. Even through all of that, Job 1:22 says, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job went through, yes, but he came out with double for his trouble. The Bible speaks about Job and how he worshipped and loved God. When you spend time with God, there is a building of your faith that transpires. When you set aside time to be in His presence, He, in turn, is fortifying you so that you can withstand whatever may come your way. How else could Job resist and go through what he went through?
Has your day ever started great, and then something unfortunate happened? How did you respond? Have you ever found yourself having to be strong during adversity? Life can bring situations, and it may feel as if the wind was being knocked out of you. When my brother passed in November 1999, I watched my parents maneuver through this unforeseen situation with God-given strength and peace. The definition of strong is having or marked by great physical power. God can put His super on your natural. When His super is placed on your natural, you can do all things despite what is said, felt, or done. When God does a thing, the human mind cannot comprehend it, but this is okay because God’s thinking is higher than ours. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” As a Christian, when situations happen, and people around you become unraveled, you, on the other hand, are at peace, and you can bear under pressure. Why, because God equips His people with strength. Psalms 18:32-34 says, “The God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” Think of times where you know God has strengthened you for a task that seemed impossible to complete. It feels good to know that God covers us and gives us what we need so that we can be the best in serving Him.
When I was younger, I dealt with depression. There were a lot of days that I went through life just existing but not living. I felt defeated, hopeless, and unloved. If I can be completely transparent, there were times that I did not want to live, but God had a purpose for my life. When I made up my mind to surrender my life to Christ, the process of deliverance began. I did not know it then, but my yes to God set in motion the deliverance that needed to take place in me from the hurt, anger, pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, and rejection that I was dealing with. As I begin to learn about God and who He created me to be, I heard truth. The truth that I heard began to take root on the inside of my very being. The more Word I listened to, the more it took up residence in me. The more the Word took up residence in me, the less room there was for the things that I needed to be delivered from. For example, when you begin to learn and come into the truth of how much God loves and needs you, the more you start to see that you are not rejected but loved. Has God ever healed you from a broken heart? Has God ever healed a broken relationship with a family member or a friend? Then you have experienced His restoring power.
So let’s go back to the question of why can’t we take the “after you have suffered a little while” part out and skip straight to “will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” How can you restore something that has never been broken? How can you make strong something that has never been weak? How can you make someone firm and steadfast if they have never been in a situation where they may have questioned their faith or existence? If you never go through anything, how can you tell or brag about the God you serve? How can you encourage people and let them know that this, too, shall pass? We live in a society where people want something for nothing, but that is not how life was designed. If you want a car, you have to work for it. Things don’t magically appear. It is the same way with God. How can you experience the peace of God if you never have any storms that require peace? As you fully surrender your life to Christ, you will begin to look at your trials differently. There will be an assurance that you will make it through stronger and better.
Troubles do not always last because God is working and moving on your behalf. God is working behind the scene on your situation. What does that mean? Think of it this way. When you watch a movie or a TV show, you only see what is before you, but people are working to make the production happen in the background. You are faced with a trial, right, but God is in the background moving and changing things around on your behalf. Like the movie or TV show has a start time and an end time so does your test or trial. So look at your situation and speak into the atmosphere that this test that I am going through has an expiration date and will only last just a little while.