A few years ago, I was at a retreat, and one of the speakers was a sweet young woman who shared about her life. She was a quiet Christian girl who had had a happy upbringing. She graduated high school, went to college, met and married her Prince Charming, and they were settled down for happily ever after. She shared of her pursuit after God and of constantly seeking ways to stretch herself, to learn, and to build on her strong faith foundation.
I remember well how her story profoundly affected me, and most certainly many others in the room. Here was a Christ-follower who wasn’t turning to Him in desperation because of a tragedy, or a trauma, or a terrible home life. She was a Christ-follower who was turning to Him because of who she knew Him to be in all of her life, and was building on that in order to be secure in Him for those days ahead when trials would come, as we all are destined to face.
“ … so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.” (1 Thessalonians 3:3) NIV
That young lady crept into my heart that day, and I thought of and prayed for her often, for her wholehearted pursuit of all things Jesus.
Fast forward a few years, and this sweet girl and her equally lovely husband went through an unimaginable tragedy. I have had the humbling privilege of being able to watch from the sidelines as they have walked through their darkest valley hand in hand with the One who they know so well.
None of us will escape hardships, whatever our circumstances. This is the fallen world we live in.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) NIV
But how will we walk through these dark times? What are we doing now to prepare ourselves?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2) NIV
How can we look at trials as pure joy? When we know the One who is walking beside us, and we recognize that He will use every lesson to bring us close to Him and to be more effective in our witness for Him.
I don’t know if this is a season of joy for you, or if it is a season of great difficulty. Let me encourage you to keep on seeking out ways to grow in your faith, and to build upon the sure foundation of Christ, so that when the hard times do come, you will be able to stand firm.
“They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” (Luke 6:48) NIV
And that’s not the end!
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) NIV
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12) NIV
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Corinne Thorpe and her husband, Allan, moved to the states from England 18 years ago, and have since pastored in a small town in NW PA. Corinne also serves on the PennDel Women Core Team. She has 10 lovely children who have her whole heart; and she finds her true calling in raising them in Christ. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4) Corinne serves on the PennDel Women Core Team.