How Much Longer?
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
This has been a difficult week for so many of my Christian brothers and sisters. Some have experienced the death of a loved one; some were expecting it, others were taken by complete surprise. Some are spending final days with a parent battling cancer, some are dealing with the shock and pain of a marriage falling apart, some are in the actual process of separation/divorce which is never easy and many times can get downright ugly; and still, others are trying to heal from the heartbreak and disappointment of a divorce that has already occurred. I know of parents who are watching their five-year-old daughter go through chemo and are praying that she will be a survivor. Many people in our city lost their jobs last week as a major company downsized, and others fear what will happen to their stocks as our nation has watched the collapse of several major banks and corporations. How many families lost their homes last weekend as they were swept out to sea in the Gulf Coast of Texas and are still without power and water? It is just plain depressing to watch the news! How many of us just want to cry out, “How much longer???!!!”
My family went on a couple of trips this summer and I wish I had a dollar for every time one of my kids asked, “How much longer?” One trip in particular, we were on a long flight which was by far the worst part of the trip. My older two asked many times, “How much longer?” and if my two-year-old could have, I’m sure he would have asked the same question at least a hundred times! Finally, within the last 30 minutes or so of the flight, he had a meltdown! It was as if he just couldn’t take it anymore, and quite frankly I was beginning to feel that way myself! He cried and cried and cried! Nothing could calm him down. We tried to reason with him that we were almost there and would be on the ground soon. It would all be over in just a little while and we were going to have so much fun at our destination! Of course, it did very little to satisfy him because he was only concerned with his immediate situation. He couldn’t see past his present discomfort.
I wonder how many times we appear as little children to our Heavenly Father. We are so consumed with our present suffering that we are unable to see past it. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 Take comfort in the expectation of his glory revealed! Trust that whatever trial you may be going through, He will use it for His glory! God’s plans are always better than our plans. He will “restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” When we are tempted to cry out, “Lord, how much longer?!” we can be assured that whatever journey we are on, be it long or short, and no matter how uncomfortable, the destination of His glory will far outweigh our pain in the process.
Heavenly Father, I surrender all of my trials and painful sufferings to you. I pray also for all of my brothers and sisters who are undergoing struggles of their own. Through your Holy Spirit, help us to handle them in a Christ-like way. Give us the patience and strength we need each day until the season of suffering is over and we can finally see Your glorious plan revealed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Spend some time in God’s Word today reading His promises to you. Perhaps read through some Psalms. There is no human emotion that is not mentioned in the Psalms.
Talk honestly to God about your situation. He knows each of us intimately and He wants us to take our burdens to Him. See also 1 Peter 5:7.
How can you be a blessing to someone else by comforting them with the comfort you have received?
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Copyright 2008 by Christy Long. All rights reserved.
Comfort to Comfort Ministries