Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Peter 4:12 ESV

We live in the midst of the fallout of the fall: sin has affected every area of creation and all aspects of our lives. Disappointment, pain, and trouble are significant ingredients of our daily existence. Ill-timed, unexpected tragedies can shape our lives for the better or make our hearts hard through bitterness. Our choice: trust that God is sovereignly working or become angry that life is not going as expected. What is important in the midst of disappointment? Not whether we are suffering, but whether we know the suffering servant who has come into the world to meet us in our discouragement.

So it is not important whether or not misfortune befalls us, but whether we know the place of refuge and the space under the shadow of his wings (Ps. 57:1). It is not important whether we think we are being persecuted or that everyone is against us, but only whether the Head is our friend and we are beloved by God.

Helmut Thielicke, How to Believe Again, trans., H. George Anderson (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1972), 99.