How long is a little while?
The struggles in life has a way of making you feel there is no end to the tunnel. Darkness seems to cover you like a blanket with no sign of a light.
Unashamedly I admit, over the last fifteen years I asked consistently, “Lord, how long is the pain of betrayal, broken relationships, grief from the loss of loved ones and possessions going to last? When will the struggles end?” Needless to say, He did not give me a specific timeframe. Instead, He always reminded me of His Word. After a while, I stop asking how long and started rehearsing the promises He had given me. My attitude changed. The more I meditated and spoke aloud His Word over my life and situations, the more my anxiety was replaced by God’s peace. Still there were nights I cried myself to sleep, but I never stopped rehearsing the promises. I held on to them regardless of what I felt, saw and experienced. I believed God!
Like me, have you looked for the light at the end of the tunnel and wondered how long your troubles would last?
Just know you are not alone while traveling through your tunnel a little while longer.
I posted the following status to my Facebook page earlier this week. Reading it again the next day or so was like getting a burst of energy from an energy drink.
Your suffering is temporary. Go through the “making” process.
“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.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV.
During the time Peter wrote to the Christians, persecution was not just confined to the churches in Asia Minor. Christians were suffering from intense persecution almost everywhere in the known world of that day because they were preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Peter wrote to remind and console them and us too. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write and encourage them to emulate those who had successfully gone through the test of suffering. It is important and beneficial to surround yourself with people who have successfully endured some dark days of suffering and can offer you the encouragement you need to stand firm and not give up.
Suffering on this earth—although it appears to be endless—is temporary. It is much easier to focus on the uncertainty of the length of time we will suffer. Only God knows the duration of our sufferings. He sovereignly defines the ‘little while’. No one’s time of suffering is the same. Remember Job? He suffered the loss of all things, including his health. Through it all, he held on even enduring the criticisms and misunderstandings of his friends.
Your suffering is temporary. God through the “making” process.
The duration of your pain will be different from others, but the focal point should not be the time frame. Focus on the promised outcome after the set time (little while) of suffering is completed. After you have suffered a little while, here are four (4) things the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself do:
- Restore you. Whatever is broken or missing, He will mend and repair so that you are complete. However long you suffered, afterwards you will be restored. Your restoration may be physically or spiritually.
- Establish you. Suffering affects our mental health; our thoughts are usually focused on our condition and circumstances. It’s easy for spirits of depression and oppression to control our thinking. God will make you stable in your mind; you will need mental stability. He will make you strong in mind. A strong and stable mindset is essential to your well-being physically, emotionally and spiritually.
- Strengthen you. Suffering affects you emotionally; therefore, God will make you firm in your emotions. Where you are emotionally weak and unsteady, He will strengthen your soul.
- Settle you. Because your whole being has been shaken by your suffering, God will settle (establish) you. He will lay again a firm foundation to uphold you so that you are stable in all your ways, not wavering, but confident in the God of your salvation.
Why would God do all this after you have suffered for a while? Because it was never God’s intention for us live in a place of darkness, defeat, disappointment and discouragement . Again I ask, remember Job? At the end of Job’s suffering, however long it was, God restored him and all he lost with double. God’s desire from the beginning has always been for our good. His will is for all mankind to live victoriously through faith in Jesus Christ (John 10:10). His desire is that we be ‘whole’ human beings in a loving relationship with Him. All that He allows to happen in the life of His children is scripted with purpose. It is usually in times of suffering and adversity that we draw closer to Him through prayer and supplication. Moreover, He draws closer to us. During suffering is not the time to become bitter; look to God for the better.
Yes, the struggles in life has a way of making you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and darkness covers you like a blanket with no sign of a light. But, we must remember the promises while traveling through the tunnel of darkness. Get in the Word of God because the entrance of His Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130). May you be enlightened and encouraged by this post.
What will you do when it seems like a ‘little while’ has turned into a long while in a tunnel of darkness?
Will you admit that you focus more on ‘how long’ rather than promised outcome after the suffering? If you admit yes, what will you do differently after reading this post?
Meditate on this Word: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” -Romans 8:28