And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Pet. 5:10
We live in the midst of the fallout of the fall: sin affects every area of creation and all aspects of our lives. As a result, disappointment, problems, and trouble are significant ingredients of our everyday 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. Can we trust a precious Christ who disciplines us for our good or complain that life is not fair? It is important to recognize in our trials not whether we are suffering, but whether we know the Suffering Servant who has come into the world to meet us in our pain. Because of the Cross of Christ, we can trust that God has something bigger and better and more precious planned through our being ill-treated, misunderstood, hurt, and disappointed.
The Lord is working his purposes in and through our circumstances: the molding of our character, the testing of our faith, and the ministry of Christ’s life. Christ is precious for he makes every trial valuable by transforming for character and revealing himself in the midst of our suffering and trials.
Oh, let your heart and Christ’s heart be one heart! Receive as precious everything that flows from the government of Jesus. A precious Christ can give you nothing but what is precious. Welcome the rebuke—it may be humiliating; welcome the trial—it may be painful; welcome the lesson—it may be difficult; welcome the cup—it may be bitter; welcome everything that comes from Christ in your individual history. Everything is costly, salutary, and precious that Jesus sends.
Octavius Winslow, The Precious Things of God