So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. —2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
When you are younger, you think certain things are always good, while other things are always bad. For example, success is always good, and hardship is always bad. But when you have lived life for a while, you can look back and realize that success actually can be bad for some. And hardship actually can be good for others. You begin to see things differently. And sometimes the things you thought were really good things turned out to be bad things. And the things that you thought were bad things turned out to be good things.
We must realize as Christians that God is in control of all circumstances surrounding our lives. God takes all of the events of life, the good things and the so-called bad things, and works them “together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).
We must also realize that God loves us and is always looking out for our eternal benefit—even if what we are presently going through is difficult. We are told in 2 Corinthians 4:17–18, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (nlt).
Are you thankful for what God has blessed you with? Have you given thanks recently for your health? For the freedom to worship openly? For the clothes on your back and the roof over your head? We need to give thanks to God—because there is so much to give thanks for.
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.