Devotion #103

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

1 Peter 4:19 ESV

One of the hardest things in life to do is find good in the midst of our brokenness. The times when I am already searching for solutions to problems and more seem to fall on me—that’s the hardest time for me, that’s when the enemy tries to steal my joy. Trials upon trials—they can knock the wind right out of you. But that’s how they seem come at times—one right after another, without any time to breathe in between.

Maybe you’ve been there, too. Maybe your marriage was already struggling, and suddenly we find ourselves suffering against a global pandemic. Maybe you were already experiencing a tension caused by lack of communication, an inability to resolve a conflict, a bitterness caused by a resistance to forgive, financial hardships, and now you are trapped in the same house with a person you’ve worked hard to ignore.

This verse reminds us how we are to suffer while we endure seasons of trials upon trials. Regardless of what we face, we are to entrust our souls to a faithful God while doing good. We are to start by trusting that God is sovereign over our situation—consider that He’s confined you to your home with your spouse for a very specific reason. Perhaps He wants to heal the hurt by teaching you how to forgive, perhaps He wants to restore your marriage by giving you space and time to learn how to communicate again. Left to our own accord, we grow distance from our spouse when in difficult conflict, but God, in His sovereignty, has decided it’s best for you to be together, for an extended period of time, in the same home. Perhaps He’s grounded both of you to allow you time to address the struggle in your marriage, perhaps He’s grounded you to allow you time to change your heart.

You see we aren’t only called to trust, we are to entrust our souls to a faithful God while doing good. While we are trusting that He has a plan in our current trial, we are called to continue to do good to our spouse. Doing good in the same relationship where strife exists is incredibly challenging, and requires a humble heart—something many of us rail against. When we’re hurting, our flesh wants the other to do the good first. God knows our tendency to withhold good when we’re suffering, so He reminds us here to choose good. Choose to do good for your spouse despite your current struggle.

If we want to find the good God promises in our most difficult struggles, we have to stop focusing on our solutions to the problems, and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control. The solution to our struggle is not a vaccine or God changing our spouse. The solution to our problem is a change in us.

It took me a long time to learn this, but here is the truth in this scripture—the peace we seek in our marriage comes in the refining work He does in us through our struggles, and not in the trial resolving in the way we want it to end. No matter how difficult the situation in front of me, no matter how impossible or how devastating it may seem to me, God has always shown me such beauty on the other side of every single one of my trials. I feel Him changing me through each struggle, and transforming my heart, little by little, closer and closer to His image. There has always been a purpose for every trial He’s walked me through, and through the measure of them, He has grown my faith, produced endurance, and taught me humility. Choose to trust and choose to do good.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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