There is a flow to the life of a Christ-follower.
Suffering –> Trusting –> Doing Good
Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. – 1 Peter 4:19
It isn’t easy. Sometimes, we get stuck in the suffering. Our stubborn hearts just plop themselves down and refuse to budge. I’m pretty sure that is what Satan is counting on – that we would become overwhelmed by the suffering and just hang out there for a while. He is fine with our suffering. He is totally opposed, however, to our trusting and our doing of good.
If you look closely, Peter is not listing these activities as things done consecutively. You don’t suffer and then, when the suffering is complete, begin to trust. You do not trust and then, when God has proven to be faithful, begin to do good. These are concurrent activities – all happening at the same time. Suffering, trusting, doing – they all intermingle and overlap.
We, like Jacob, wrestle with God. We hurt, cry and wonder if we will make it through. We hold on with all that we have – desperate for Him to show Himself. We refuse to let go and we beg for a blessing in the midst of the pain. Then, the sun rises and His mercies are new. We walk on in faith, but we walk with a limp.
We make it through, but not unscathed. We are battle scarred, worn and weary. We are wounded, but not weakened. Our faith is stronger and our eyes see clearer. Suddenly, we notice the wounded around us. Our hearts recognize the gait of one who has wrestled with God.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Are you afflicted? Perplexed? Persecuted? Struck down?
Just don’t let go. Hold on tight and wait for the blessing. This thing will not destroy you. Wrestle it out and then, when the sun rises, walk on. Trust your faithful Creator to work it out for your good and for His glory. Satan may get a few licks in now and then, but the joke is on him because there’s nothing stronger than a faith that limps.