This event that we and the world are experiencing is most unbelievable, at least to us Americans who have known nothing but easy times. As a civilization, we have lived more comfortably than any civilization in history.
Many are suffering now. And people have witnessed the fact that our lives can quickly change, and that things as we have known them to be are now no longer that way. In an instant, we have lost our sports, our entertainment venues, our church attendance, our freedom to gather in groups, our daily school structure, and more.
As a result, many are beset with anxiety and depression. Discouragement is lingering in the hearts of many. There are worries and fears.
Feeling that one’s life is “falling apart,” and sensing that our lives are out of control are major causes of depression. And although some are doing fine, and just patiently enduring this time of uncertainty, many are not doing that well.
It’s at times like this that we need to accept reality; that our temporary sufferings are a part of life; maybe not “our” American life of the past, but certainly life through the ages. We have been very fortunate. And we have been blessed by God for our Christian values. But, we have erred and stayed like lost sheep, haven’t we? Instead, our society has chosen to reject God, running to and fro like lemmings, and living by its own rules, having its own way. And somewhere in all of this, we have reaped some suffering.
Did you know that suffering often brings about some good results? (And I am certainly not advocating suffering at all for us all. I don’t like it either.) We would all remain very shallow human beings if we didn’t experience times of digging deep, of re-evaluation, and feeling compassionate pains that others are experiencing. Sometimes, the only way we come to those times of reassessment are when we, too, are hurting in some way. At this time, many are anxious, depressed, grieving, and sick.
The Bible has a lot to say about suffering, and its truths apply to our condition. It opens our eyes to realities that encourage and uplift us.
1 Peter 5:10 says, “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.”
This is a wonderful promise. To know that God will restore us, and that we will be more steadfast and stronger is a promise to grab onto and to believe. We can see that strength rising up in America, both in individuals, and corporately.
And then how about this one, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” Romans 5: 3-4.
Don’t lose heart. And don’t ever assume that there’s no hope at the other end of this trial. Pray for our country, and keep your eyes focused on the right goal. We will see this through.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or juditabler@awomansview.