These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith . . . may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7)
During the first month of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in 2022, a young woman and her children became refugees. With an uncertain future, they traveled to Europe, hoping for safety and help to escape the war that ravaged their homeland. Along the way, she met Christians who provided for their needs and gave them financial help for the journey ahead. As she received their gifts, she uttered tearful words of praise to God. Despite her suffering and loss of her husband, home, and job, she believed God saw her and had not forgotten her.
Sometimes we’re tempted to think that being a Christian prevents bad things from happening to us. We desperately want to believe that saying and doing the right things exempt us from tragedy, sickness, and pain. But they don’t. Suffering is part of a believer’s life.
When we bear the name of Jesus Christ, we can expect trials and suffering to come to us just like it did to him. Trials are a path God can use to refine and purify us. Suffering exposes the genuineness of our faith, whether we truly believe what we profess.
What will you do when the unwelcome and painful things come? Hold on to faith! God hasn’t forgotten you. He cares and will save you. The way you journey through suffering just might have a redemptive effect on someone else too.
Ask God to use your suffering to bring others to faith.
Angela Alvarado serves as the assistant editor for the Communication and Administration Division of The Wesleyan Church. She is a graduate of Wesley Seminary, Marion, Indiana.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.