Because God loves you, he will work to cleanse you. You may feel God’s arrows in your soul because of your sins, but you can call upon his chastening love. You will not feel his wrath as the heathen do. The Lord’s rod of discipline will be applied by a loving hand.

Perhaps your suffering comes from making wrong decisions. How many women are suffering because they married men whom God warned them not to marry? How many children are breaking their parents’ hearts? Many times this happens because of the parents’ own past years of sin, neglect and compromise. When you have arrived at this lowest point, you can seek the Lord in repentance and faith.

When you cry out to God, he pours his strength into you. “In the day when I cried out, you answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul… Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, O Lord, endures forever” (Psalm 138:3, 7–8, NKJV).

Christians struggle most to accept the suffering of the righteous. Up to the time of Christ, the Jews associated prosperity and good health with godliness. They believed that wealth and health were because God was pleased with you. Likewise, there is an erroneous doctrine today that says, “If you are in agreement with God, you will never suffer! Just call out to God, and he will come running and solve everything immediately.”

This is not the gospel. The heroes listed in the Hall of Faith all walked closely with God; they still suffered stoning, mocking, torture and violent deaths (see Hebrews 11: 36–38). God wants to plant something in our hearts through our trials.

The Lord wants us to be able to say, “Lord Jesus, you’re my Protector. I believe you rule over the events of my life. If anything happens to me, it’s only because you allowed it. Help me understand the lesson you want me to learn. I trust that you may have some prepared glory and eternal purpose in this that my finite mind doesn’t understand. Either way, I’ll say, ‘Jesus, whether I live or die, I am yours!’”