How the Lord brings beauty and life from places of desolation is a true mystery because His work is unseen. Faith is believing in that work, before we see the fruit. Our confidence during the battle pleases God because, in the spiritual realm, we are declaring victory solely based on God’s trustworthiness.
Whether our Lord allows debilitating illness, wrenching injury, or emotional anguish and despair the scriptures and the legacy of the saints before us declare that He never afflicts without purpose and sovereignty. In every fiery furnace, His hand is on the thermostat.
The Bible promises fruits from hardship and suffering, “grief in all kinds of trials” 1 Peter 1:6-7. ‘Undeserved suffering’, painful chastisement, and mournful grief can thrash the life of a believer but bring utter confusion to the one not girded in God’s word.
We have no power to erase the pain of betrayal, the anxiety and panic attacks from pummeling traumas, nor can we lift the weighty blanket of depression. But, for the sheep of the Good Shepherd, there is always a life-giving vein that flows to raise and renew us. Our lives will not be restored to what they were. We may walk with a limp from the storm, our head may be singed from the fire…but not without purpose and design.
Whether slow burning or flash fire, what the enemy seems to obliterate from our lives can truly well up an unseen view and yearning for God and heaven.
“I know my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed… I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes…How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27
Misery is the fruit of worldly suffering…not so with our Maker! Like a grueling chisel, heartbreak and loss can break and crush what we greatly value in this world. If only our priceless will to choose remains, choose to trust God, He is still in control.
Unlike the world’s endless quest to pump up the flesh, our Lord uses brokenness for His work and glory. Trusting our Father opens the door to victory, not the elimination of pain, but the promise of His life flowing through ours as a hopeful light to others.
This is the fragrance of Christ that the world needs.