“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9

I’m going through a hard, hard time again – for the umpteenth time through the years. Sometimes my life feels like it’s been relentlessly challenging. Relentless struggles. Nothing compared to other people’s hard stories, but hard, hard, hard for me. Something is different this time around, however, and it bears telling.

I was just writing out a little prayer to my Father in heaven when I realized during this particular season of struggle, I have a greater love, a deeper trust in Christ, a deeper faith in God, a true belief in His love for me, a heart filled with thanksgiving, none of the icky self-pity, a much more significant crying out to Jesus, a stronger connection to my sisters in Christ, more vulnerability in that I don’t have the hard, prideful, wall around me to “protect” myself, and probably more. Change. Lots and lots of change and growth. And, in the midst of it all, praising the Lord forever would never be enough.

Why do I share this with you? The Lord can do beautiful, wonderful, powerful, albeit hard-to-the-flesh things in the midst of our trials. He can work on us. He can work through us. He can refine us. Grow us. Transform us. Conform us to Himself. Purify us. Make us more like Himself, yes.

Thank you, dear Lord, for carrying us through our trials when we are surrendered to you. Thank you for working on our hearts and lives. Thank you for doing what you desire in us and through us. Thank you for teaching us your ways. Thank you for not allowing us to remain the same. Thank you for using us to bring glory to your name. AMEN!

Press on, friend, if you’re in the battle. Press on if your trials are great. Press on if you feel the struggle will never end. Press on following Jesus. The way, He is. The truth, He is. The life, He is. Follow Him! Let us follow Him together, AMEN!

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

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