By Jim Biscardi, Jr.
Over the last five months, I’ve suffered through some urological issues that at times have brought me to tears. Maybe you’ve had some struggles as well. So, here are some thoughts that I hope will help us all…
The song lyrics [written by Michael Combs] tell us, “As I go through life’s journey, I’m reaping better than I’ve sown. I’m drinking from my saucer, cause my cup has overflowed. I thank God for all His blessings on me, and the mercy He’s bestowed. I’m drinking from my saucer, cause my cup has overflowed!”
We are so blessed as Christians. We’ve been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and death into the kingdom of light and eternal life! We’re blessed even when we must endure the pain of trials and suffering.
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that there is no trial or temptation we undergo that isn’t common to other men and women. God is always faithful and will not allow us to be tempted [tried] above what we are able to bear. He will always provide a way to escape so that we’ll be able to bear it. The Apostle Peter said, “the trial of our faith through the pressures of life is much more precious than of gold that is tried in the fire (1 Peter 1:7).
Just like the goldsmith knows when he sees his image in the gold that it is purified and ready, our Father looks for His Son’s image in us. So, He allows the fire to be hot enough to shape but not break the vessel. 1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
As a fine jeweler, He is “cutting” the stones (that’s us) perfectly to create the precious jewels that are the foundation of His “Showcase City” – the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19-20).
Esther Kerr Rusthoi reminds us in her song When We See Jesus that all the trials and suffering will be worth it all: “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ; One glimpse at His dear face, all sorrow will erase, So bravely run the race till we see Christ.”
He never leaves us alone during our trials. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” God is our Refuge and Strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
2Corinthians 1: 3-5 explains what God does in us with the trials and suffering we experience. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
When you pour water into a glass, the glass overflows with water. But when suffering is poured into the Christian’s life, over time the Holy Spirit uses that suffering to make us agents of comfort to others. Instead of bitterness, anger, and self-pity, overflowing from the cup of suffering we endure, the comfort of God, that comforted us during our trials, overflows from us to others who are hurting. That may take the form of comforting words, a hug, a kiss, and sometimes just helping them cry. Jesus shared in the sorrow of others – like with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died (John 11: 20-44) – and we should also.
It’s our very personal relationship to our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ that gets us through trials; and helps us allow the Holy Spirit to use them to benefit us and others.
As we run the Christian race, we can become at times so hunkered down by our problems that we lose proper perspective. Our problems look big and the power of God looks small. At those times, we need to draw close to our Father and let Him minister to us as He does in Isaiah 40:15, 22. God reminds us in these scriptures that He is much bigger than the world He created: “Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust… He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”
The eagle, when it senses a storm approaching, flies to the highest peak it can find and waits. When the storm arrives, it extends its wings and lets the wind take it safely above the storm. Similarly, God ministers to us, directs our actions, and gets us through the storms of life. He says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Remember the three Hebrews who were thrown into the fire for not worshipping the image of gold made by Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonian king said, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25). We are never in the fire alone. Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. He sees the end from the beginning. And He “works all things [even our suffering] together for good to those that love [Him] and are called according to His purposes.” (Revelation 1:8; Romans 8:28).
“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
As a teacher, author, columnist, and president emeritus of New Jersey Christian Ministries, Jim Biscardi has been “privileged for many years to help Christians grow in their knowledge of Christ.” You can find his books at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.