Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)
Our entire world is in critical condition. There is so much suffering in it and we feel helpless because we don’t know what else to do. We pray that God graces this earth with his healing hand to alleviate the pains from hunger, disease, violence, corruption, oppression, and loss of life. And I confess that I just want our great escape into heaven to happen sooner so that we don’t have to deal with this stuff anymore.
However, Charles Spurgeon wrote: “Jesus did not pray for His Father to ‘take [us] out of the world, (John 17:15), and if He did not ask for that, it should not be your desire either. It is better by far to meet a difficulty in the Lord’s strength and to glorify Him through it.”
His words punched me with conviction because they remind me what it means to be the salt and light of the earth. Believers are planted where God chooses to use them. No one else is better equipped to endure suffering than followers of Christ because their hope is in God. They understand that their abilities and station in life are not provided for their comfort and enjoyment only. They are to carry out their duties of ministry and prayer to serve anyone in need. The children of God will be battle tested and the Lord is watching them to see if they will remain faithful to him and his will.
If you are a bricklayer, then you should build walls to the glory of God. If you are a teacher, you have been entrusted with the minds of many children who will follow your words and example. And if you are a janitor, the custodial services you provide bring a sense of order for people whose lives are cluttered with a hurricane of problems.
The inconveniences of adversity give us purpose for our faith and remind us to depend on God for solutions and support. We must settle ourselves on the truth that our spiritual growth and refinement are preparing us for tomorrow’s troubles. The Lord will strengthen us, build our character, and provide a sphere of influence that invites more people to praise him and give him glory. And when he feels you’ve done enough, he will bring you home so that you can finally rest in his presence.