“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man. The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9b (NKJV)
We know that suffering is an unavoidable part of every human’s story. It should not surprise us. But when it comes to us, how do we deal with it? How do we persevere? When massive waves are swirling around us, how do we keep from going under?
Getting a right perspective is critical — lifting our eyes upward to God rather than outward to our circumstances or inward to ourselves. Counseling our hearts according to truth. Realigning our thoughts and emotions according to His Story.
In 1895, a South African pastor, teacher and writer named Andrew Murray was preaching at large Christian conferences in England. In physical pain from an injury sustained a few years earlier (thrown from a cart while traveling and ministering) and having just received some discouraging criticism from a well-known person, the exhausted Murray opted to stay in bed one Sunday morning. But rather than wallowing in discouragement, he decided to write some notes for his own encouragement.
At the top of the paper he wrote, “In Time of Trouble Say …” Then he penned the following, counseling his heart with the truth:
First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last, In His good time He can bring me out again — how and when He knows.
Let me say I am here,
1) By God’s appointment.
2) In His keeping.
3) Under His training.
4) For His time.
We can’t remind ourselves of these truths too often.
Never forget that God loves you. He is watching over you. He knows how long and how much you can endure. What you’re going through will not last forever. And whatever kind of suffering you may be facing — whether you have something you don’t want or you’re wanting something you don’t have — this is the kind of heavenly, right-sized perspective that will give you grace, courage and stamina to carry on.
When times of discouragement come, how can we persevere?
Look up. Remind your heart that for every child of God, in every circumstance, the best really is yet to come. Our hope for a joyful future is not in solutions to our temporary problems — but in the assurance that …
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9b).
Heavenly Father, as waves of discouragement, pain or despair hit my life, teach me to look up and confidently trust Your divine plan. Thank You for the unshakable hope that You are preparing a future for me, more wonderful than I can imagine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.