Will things ever get back to normal? Will the sun shine again? When will the darkness lift? Is it even possible to get through the things that I will never get over

Scripture is not silent on the subject of suffering. The Bible is full of instruction with many examples of people who endured tremendous loss and grief. So if you have been steamrolled by life’s tragedies, I hope you will find some solace and hope here.

What we all need is a balanced and realistic perspective. Neither the pessimist, nor the Pollyanna’s, provide a viable approach to life’s adversities and struggles. So lean in for some straight talk on this inescapable and unpleasant reality. The book of 1 Peter contains insight on dealing with pain, misery, and distress (see verses 1:6-8).

Trials are part of the curriculum.  Someone said, “Sin turned this world into a briar patch, and nobody gets out without getting scratched!” We have many reasons to rejoice, but sometimes we are grieved because of an abundance of trials. At times we are in “heaviness” (verse 6) because of these hardships. Our hearts become so heavy and overwhelmed that it seems unbearable. Yes, bad things happen to good people. “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” Trying to make sense out of some tragedies is humanly impossible. But when we understand that life on a sin-cursed planet includes suffering, it moderates our outlook and tempers our expectations. 

Most trials are seasonal. The saints are occasionally put to grief for a “season” (verse 6) because of calamity and evil. Sorrow, grief, anguish, and affliction come our way through the course of a lifetime. Some afflictions are chronic; but all things come to pass, not to stay. One day the temporal will give way to eternal things. Everything down here is temporary. Whatever you are going through is a season.

Trials tend to come in multiples. Peter speaks about “manifold temptations” or ‘various trials’ (verse 6). Have you noticed that often it’s not just one thing, but many things that occur in these periods of distress? Job was no stranger to compound problems. The devil attacked his family, his finances, and his health. Sometimes it seems like one thing after the other is coming against us. It’s as if a barrage is unleashed in a compact period of time. 

Trials are a test of our faith. Notice these inspired words, “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire…’ (verse 7). It says the trial is better than gold. So obviously there is something very powerful and beneficial hidden beneath what is apparent at the time. The genuineness of our belief is proven by the “fire.” The three Hebrew children were thrown into the fiery furnace, but there was a fourth Man in the fire with them! While it may not be evident during the testing, the advantages become obvious in time. And if not on earth, then our understanding will be made clear on the other side. We will understand it better by and by.

Jesus is our hope, and joy is possible. Trials point us to heaven. The big deal about heaven is Jesus Christ. Though hidden from view now, our eyes will behold Him in glory. “Whom having not seen, ye love… though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (verse 8). Joy is a possibility, even in times of suffering. And Christ is the source of this joy. This is not meant to shame or guilt anyone who is plagued by depression and darkness. Peter’s words offer encouragement in the middle of our trials. They offer hope and release from despair, and even the possibility of joy in difficulty. 

Yes, temptations and trials can interrupt our joy for a “season.” But rejoicing is our birthright as redeemed sons and daughters. And heaven will be a non-ending celebration of the Lamb in the midst of the throne. 

So when you find yourself in heaviness through a series of trials and perplexities, be patient with yourself. Don’t blame yourself for being “unspiritual” or feeling like a failure. These terrible seasons come to everyone at some point. Being overwhelmed is not a sign of faithlessness; it is a sign you are human. Jesus was no stranger to grief and sorrow (Isaiah 53:3). He wept at Lazarus’ tomb (John 11:35). And Jesus experienced an awful heaviness in Gethsemane (Mark 14:33). 

Trouble and trauma are common to man. Since sin entered the world, it is part and parcel to life on earth. But what’s going on now is not permanent. Hopefully sooner, but if not, then later, the LORD Jesus Christ will sort everything out. He will bring perfect order, and set every wrong right. Sin and suffering will be banished forever! We have hope and assurance that ultimately healing will come to every broken heart. Be encouraged by God’s words to suffering Saints. And if you are overwhelmed, take heart because a better day is coming.

Harold Vaughan


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Harold Vaughan

View posts by Harold Vaughan
Evangelist Harold Vaughan is the founder of Christ Life Ministries, Inc. To date, his ministry has led him to preach in forty-eight states and many foreign countries. Click on "ABOUT" in the menu bar to learn more about Harold.
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