We were singing a song in worship at church the other night and I was struck by one particular verse in the song:
“Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessing in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed”
(From ‘Rejoice’ by Dustin Kensrue)
I know full well that God blesses us even in the difficulties of life. God has shown me that truth in my own life as well as in the lives over many others. There are entire biographies written about Christian believers who have been blessed by God while walking through the fire. The lives of Joni Earickson Tada, Corrie Ten Boom, and Chuck Colson all reveal this truth, to name just a few.
The other truth that I am also well-aware of is that through the battles of life, God molds us and shapes us as He uses our circumstances to make us into the person He wants us to be. We are called to live for Him and to elevate Him to those around us, and many times we can best do so when we’ve been sharpened by trials.
But to think about God using the trials to actually bless me, now that’s a new one. I have always considered them simply something to endure.
Apostle Paul wrote:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I certainly know I’m called by God to “delight” in my trials and “glory in my sufferings”, but in my own mind it has never changed the nature of suffering. Suffering is still suffering right?
Romans 5:3-5 “ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Look at what Paul tells the Romans. He gives us a list of blessings that we will see as fruit in our lives as a result of the suffering. We will see perseverance, character, hope, and God’s love poured out. All because of the original stretch of endured pain. We will be blessed in and by the battle itself. That’s a “wow!” moment for me.
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
God is on the throne and in control. He is making you into the man or woman that He wants you to be by buffering you with the wind and the waves. Be blessed in the battle.