Your testing is temporary
Whatever trial you're facing today will make you stronger, and no matter what happens along the way, if you know Jesus, you win.
Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. (Hebrews 2:18)
This devotion will release on October 20, but I’m writing it in a Panera in Guthrie, Oklahoma on September 6. And I’ve just gotten the news that one of my dear friends, someone I have known for years and years, has received a devastating cancer diagnosis.
As I was logging on to social media, I saw a post from the husband of a different friend who passed away from cancer last year.
And I am angry.
Not at God. I don’t get angry at Him. That doesn’t solve anything. But I do get angry at the state of our world. I do get angry at Satan and his horrible influences.
Mostly I’m just scared and sad, and I don’t understand. I know that wicked people suffer. I know that non-believers go through hard times. And I know that following Jesus is no guarantee that your life will work out as you hope. I know all of that. But none of that makes it any easier in situations like this, where one of the best, kindest, hardest-working, most Christ-like women of God I’ve ever met has to come face to face with cancer.
And I saw this verse. I had picked this verse several weeks ago, and when I read it just before I started writing this devotion, it only made me more angry.
Yes, Jesus went through suffering and testing. We all know that. He was human. He experienced all the horror humanity had to offer. But He didn’t have cancer. He didn’t have four young children. And the only thing I could think of doing is erasing this verse and finding a better one that would be more warm and fuzzy.
But that’s not what the Bible is. The Bible isn’t warm and fuzzy. It’s sharp. It cuts between what is true and what is false, between what is real and what is temporary. It eliminates the things that don’t matter until all that remains is what God says.
And what is more needed in moments like these than what God says?
I don’t know why things like this happen. I don’t know why we each have to deal with tests and trials that push us past the limit of our capability. I don’t know why.
But what I do know is that the tests and trials we endure in this life are temporary. And I also know that Jesus understands. Maybe He didn’t have cancer, but He faced illness and death. He understands the grief and loss of it, the helplessness of watching someone you love struggle through pain and suffering. And because He understands, He can help.
He won’t take the pain away. He won’t make the trial stop. But He knows exactly how to help us through it, not just because He’s God but because He lived it. Just like we are.
The test you’re enduring today isn’t going to last. Whatever it is, you are going to come out the other side of it stronger and more whole than you did going into it. No matter what happens, if you know Jesus, you win.
The test is temporary. But you, who you are, and God’s promises to you are eternal.
A Special Request
Instead of questions this week, can I please ask that you pray specifically for my friend and her family? Shelley Dinsmore, her husband Jim, and their four beautiful kids are missionaries in Guatemala. They’ve been there since August 2006. I’ve been down to visit them several times, and what God has done through their ministry is nothing short of miraculous. You can read more about them at www.jimandshelley.com but I know that any prayers you can offer on their behalf would be a blessing.
Update (October 4, 2023): This post will still go live on October 20, but I am overjoyed to post that my dear friend DOES NOT have cancer. It’s one of those miracle things. God would have been good even if He hadn’t done this, but what a merciful God He is to answer prayers. Their family still has a long road to walk, so please keep them in your prayers regardless.
Weekly Memory Verse