The other day I was in a quandary. My trial, carried upon the back of temptation, caught me off guard. It surprised me. For days I fought through this fog, trying to navigate to clarity with little success. Then, as I felt at the end, I cried out to God, once again, and His response cut through the thick mist of confusion like the drying heat of the sun. "You are not alone."
Immediately the Holy Spirit reminded me, "do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you." Encouragement started to swell in me, throwing off the oppressive heavy wet towel of difficulty that lay on me, "standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
Our trials come at times and catch us unsuspecting. They rock us; they sway us. They catch us off guard. Past temptations we thought were dealt with rear their ugly heads and mock us, snide with pride. Ugly attitudes and thoughts boil to the forefront of our minds and thoughts making us reel in wonder that we could be so desperate, so vile. Why do we stand in shock? Why do we wonder at such behavior, at such a condition?
God has made a promise. We are not alone. We are not the only true believers that suffer under such weights. We are not isolated; we are not shameful. His promise comes to us, just as it came to me as I cried out to Him, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind." We share a common condition, a common thread that runs through all of us. And we can take comfort in knowing that our dusty frame does not make us odd or devoid of His acceptance. It simply makes His word even truer, more powerful. His grace is sufficient.
The burdens we carry, He offers to carry for us. He offers us a way out of the trial, at just the right time. So we endure it for the crown; we wait patiently for the answer. We rest knowing He will never leave or forsake us. Not in His heart, not in how He feels towards us. That never changes. And we are never alone.
The photos in this blog are from Albania, Greece, and Kosova. Please pray for the Pastors and their families from these countries that faithfully serve Him in the middle of opposition.