There are times in the lives of all true disciples of Yahshua when we feel thoroughly battered and bruised. Life knocks us down, or circumstances shatter our hopes, or events take the breath away, and we find ourselves hanging on to the apostles’ teaching that “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of [Heaven]” [Acts 14:22, italics added]! Sorrow and suffering are part of life, and it is unrealistic to imagine that walking with Yahshua will save us from them; idealistic to believe Yahweh has made a mistake in allowing them. They bring us face to face with reality, stripping away our shallowness and exposing us for who and what we really are.
Yahshua was not saved from the hour of His suffering, but out of it, and He taught that the secret of survival is obedience. It isn’t a formula for a stress-free existence, but it is a guarantee that we will survive. Reflecting on the value of not only hearing what He had to say but of putting His words into practice, Yahshua said that people who do this “…are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built” [Luke 6:47-48]. There’s no ‘if’ about life having storms; it’s a ‘when’! Yahshua points to obedience as life’s solid foundation; when I’m living in obedience to Yahweh’s word, I may be battered by the storm, but I won’t be destroyed.
Suffering and sorrow are fires that will refine us; through them we will grow in understanding; they are the basis of progress in spiritual maturity. “We know that by suffering,” writes Paul, “is wrought steadfastness, and steadfastness is the proof of soundness, and proof gives rise to hope; and our hope cannot shame us in the day of trial; because the love of [Yahweh] is shed forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to us” [Romans 5:3-5, Conybeare’s translation].
When we are battered and bruised He can comfort and heal us; hold steady through the storm, He wants us to trust Him!