As it came to my attention that certain people viewed me as sad, it occurred to me that my December posts have mostly sounded like they were written by someone who was. Before the Lord took me training for reformation of my heart, my Christmas concerns were house decor, gift list, parties.
But after overcoming the challenges of boot camp, the Lord thankfully gave me a heart for those who encounter difficulties. Past Christmas posts express my sentiments that this is one of the most difficult times of the year to experience any kind of trial (whether health, money, relationships, sudden disaster, career) because it highlights the contrast of one’s circumstances against the backdrop of supposedly the merriest, most magical, best times of all.
Just because the Lord has lifted me to the mountaintop doesn’t mean I forget what it’s like to be in the valley. In John Chapter 25, when Jesus reinstated Peter, it wasn’t for Peter’s delirious gaiety, comfort, and pride. Jesus said, “Feed my lambs,” “Take care of my sheep.” “Feed my sheep.” Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
2Cor 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
If I were indeed sad or entered a season of sadness, that is not a bad thing. It is mostly in difficult situations rather than ease that character is formed. Character is good for the soul.
Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
I know a lot of people who have tried to escape their suffering (which I’m not condemning) but they’ve ended up still sad. Until we find our completion, rest, and joy in unchanging Jesus (who Himself suffered for our sake), nothing will satisfy, we will not be at rest. We will look for perfection which does not exist on this side of heaven.
I know a lot of people who have stayed the course that had suffering but praise God by His grace, like I, see the faithful hand of God to intervene supernaturally and cause lasting inner healing.
I pray that He would enable us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, that we would continue to seek Him, follow Him, remain in Him whether we are in the valley or on the mountaintop; that we would make Him our first pursuit; the gifts, blessings, removal of trials are just by-products of our relationship with Him.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.