Your newborn child died after only 24 hours of breath. Work has become nonexistent no matter how hard you look. With crushing interest rates and no job, the bank is now foreclosing on your farm.
Your two-month-old daughter is in the hospital with double pneumonia; then the phone call comes. You fear the worst; she’s died. You start preparing mentally to bury another child.
Instead, you’re told that your house, which is about to be repossessed by the bank, has just burnt to the ground. You now have nothing but the clothes on your back and your wife and children.
Wow, talk about bad stuff happening! Yet, the response of this great man was not to become angry at God but to respond with praise.
He knew that he still had God. Therefore, he had everything he needed. Together he and his wife praised God.
Paul, a man of faith, was having a lousy time in Asia. It was so bad that he thought about throwing in the towel. Read what Paul says:
It was so extreme that it was beyond our ability to endure. We even wondered if we could go on living. In fact, we still feel as if we’re under a death sentence.
2 Corinthians 1:8b-9a
Don’t stop there. Read on...
But we suffered so that we would stop trusting ourselves and learn to trust God, who brings the dead back to life. He has rescued us from a terrible death, and he will rescue us in the future. We are confident that he will continue to rescue us.
2 Corinthians 1:9b
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, they turned their suffering into a lesson of trust in God.
In every way we’re troubled, but we aren’t crushed by our troubles. We’re frustrated, but we don’t give up. We’re persecuted, but we’re not abandoned. We’re captured, but we’re not killed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We all suffer. God, our loving, all-knowing Father, does sometimes allow suffering in our lives to teach us. Will you allow your troubles, sufferings, and persecutions to strengthen your trust in God, or will you decide it’s not worth it and walk away?
It’s really up to you. Either way you will have troubles. If you choose God through the hardship, you will be able to say with Paul that you have learned to trust God.
Oh, and the great man... he is my husband.
Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle—even then, I will be happy with the Lord. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me. The Lord Almighty is my strength. He makes my feet like those of a deer. He makes me walk on the mountains.
God’s Word Mission Society welcomes Wendy Miller Bartsch, a GOD’S WORD Ambassador. As a young adult, Wendy moved to Northern Canada as a missionary. During those years, numerous moves and life challenges deepened her faith and trust in God. Being creative at heart and wanting a way to express what God was teaching her, she started writing devotionals for family and friends and posting them on Facebook. With much encouragement, her first book Selah was published in August 2022.