At one time or another, we have all likely found ourselves asking, as David did, “How long, O Lord?” (Ps. 13:1). We rightly ask God to end the suffering we experience, but in our struggles do we ask what they may be preparing us for?
English theologian Thomas Fuller is credited with the expression, “it is always darkest just before the dawn.” He writes about King David, who, under the incredible stress and struggle of being hunted by King Saul, “ran for shelter to God his Rock, in whom he comforted himself. Thus, as it is always darkest just before the day dawneth, so God useth to visit His servants with greatest afflictions when he intendeth their speedy advancement.”
God used the struggles David experienced to prepare him for the work he would do. In the Bible, you continually see God mightily testing those he uses before he uses them mightily. Peter, for example, was tested, crushed, and broken when he denied Christ (John 18:13–27), but was reinstated by Jesus and greatly used by God in the early church (John 21:15–19).
God is your rock
How are you being tested in this season? What are you struggling with? What trial and temptation are falling upon you? Take heart: you are being prepared for the work the Lord has for you. He has always tried the men and women he uses in his kingdom before he uses them. Find your shelter, as David did (2 Sam. 22:3), in God your rock—in him you will be comforted.
In the Bible, you continually see God mightily testing those he uses before he uses them mightily.
When God does use you, I encourage you to build his kingdom with vigor because you know he is your rock and your shelter. Never forget the times of struggle and pain, but let God’s care and comfort for you in that time be a continual encouragement and drive for you.
Jesus builds his church
As the church, we will come under times of struggle and opposition. Learn to find your comfort and shelter in the hands of our savior Jesus Christ. He is building his church (Matt. 16:18), and he is using us to do it. Endure the attacks and opposition that will come. Pray for strength and peace through it all. God will use his church for mighty work wherever you are and beyond. He will use you and me, but it will not be easy.
Please turn to prayer for all of the struggles you and your church face, all the work that needs to be done, all of the trial that lies ahead, and ask the Lord to use you mightily, use his church mightily, and to change your city for his glory.
Jesus is building his church (Matt. 16:18), and he is using us to do it.
Jesus’ church has been persecuted, but it has also been the most influential people group on the face of the earth. Empires, countries, and people have been forever transformed by the love of Jesus through his church. Jesus’ instrument on the face of this earth is his Spirit-empowered church, and Christian, you are a part of it.
How can you endure through your trials and sufferings?
You can endure, because Christ endured for you (Heb. 12:2).
You can feel comfort, because you have the Holy Spirit who comforts (Acts 9:31).
You can lead through your weakness, because Christ is your example (Phil. 2:6–8).
Christian, endure your struggle and trial. Jesus is using it to prepare you for a mighty work.