Who among us would gladly volunteer for or jump at the opportunity to go through a trial? And not just one trial but several at the same time? Nope, not me either. Unfortunately, some of us know this feeling all too well. Maybe you are trying to walk with a child who is struggling at school, drowning under deadlines at work, worrying about aging parents who need additional help and attention, worn out by the former friend who keeps lashing out, and struggling with your own mental health challenges. The trials seem endless. It would be great to not have any trials at all. Who wants to be tested? It’s not okay. We’re not okay, but we want to be.
The apostle Peter was considered by some to be the apostle of hope, and we get a glimpse of this in 1 Peter 1. The early church was facing intense persecution and suffering through many trials that tested their faith. Trials that, perhaps, caused them to question their faith. Trials that surely caused them to feel not okay even though they wanted to be. Peter assured the early church, and he assures us today, of Christ’s presence in our sufferings and trials.
Our trials become resources for our witness and for our ministries. God has provided us with the ability, the purpose, and the calling of being able to minister out of our “not okayness.” Instead of focusing on our challenges, we can fixate on the fact that we can still be okay even if our trial doesn’t go away. Instead of focusing on when the hardship is going to end, perhaps we should be asking God how we can prepare ourselves now, in this context of not being okay, especially when it feels like the entire world is watching and we just don’t appear okay. As believers in Christ, we must have the mindset that we are going to be okay even if the trial doesn’t end the way we think it should. We must shift our mindsets and place our hope in God. We cannot stay in a place of hopelessness.
Over the next four days, we will learn how to focus on God and place our hope in Him as we walk through life’s trials. We may not be okay, but we can be.