Nobody wants to hear that Trials or Suffering is good, but God says they work for us, the trials are accomplishing something for us and that it is an eternal weight of glory. (2 Cor 4:17)
Hudson Taylor, missionary to China 100 years ago, wrote, “The issue at hand is not so much the pressure, but that it presses me closer to Christ.”
I picture a "wall", the symbol of my trial, blocking me from what I want, closing in on me pushing me closer to Jesus, but I push against that wall, trying to reach around it to get what I want. Will I have Jesus without my desire?
Sometimes we talk about waiting for breakthrough, or healing, or SOMEthing. Whatever it is we are waiting for may bring relief, or peace, or happiness, but it is all temporary.
"...we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
Life is eternal. For the Christian, our life is hid with Christ in God. Jesus Christ is our life.
When Jesus died on the cross he said, "It is finished." It is done. That is THE breakthrough. His death, burial and resurrection is the Power, the Way, the Answer to every hope we have.
How can that be, we ask? I need a husband, a baby, money in the bank, a new job. How does His death, burial and resurrection answer my practical needs? All of your practical needs are pictures, arrows, stories of God.
We are created by God and for God.
This is the crux, the truth that determines our peace, our confidence, our direction in life.
Will we believe? Will we submit to this reality? Or, in an effort to keep our own life, will we live as if WE create life and live for ourselves?
I love that quote above from Hudson Taylor because it paints a picture of much of our actual suffering in trials. Sickness? Death? Poverty? Loss? True, the pain of these sufferings are NATURAL and real, but are these so much the issue as the reality that we are not sovereign?
We experience what we don't want so we pray and seek and beg for OUR will, our desires.
Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy will be done," and He lived it when faced with the cross. Sweating drops of blood, asking three times for his desire, yet still, He said to God, "Not my will, but thy will be done."
This is Christianity. Jesus saves us, and then we live...for Him.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." ~ Jim Elliot
Eternal life is just that...eternal. It is forever, you cannot lose it. The value of it is realized through our suffering and in letting go of our temporary hopes.