There are some people peddling a brand of following Jesus that just isn’t in the Bible: they are peddling financial stability, a life free from pain and suffering, and, quite frankly, any honest reading of Scripture just won’t find such a life promised. Jesus Himself promised trials and troubles:
“Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33
We are not promised freedom from pain, but we’re promised freedom THROUGH Jesus. We’re told to rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation (Romans 12:12), and even, too, to rejoice in all circumstances (Philippians 4:4). Today, many of us are going through the ringer, and we’re wondering what we should do. In this, we find our hope: We don’t have to win the battle or overcome the obstacle, we have to stay focused on Jesus, and trust He will make a way. Some of us will go through trials, troubles, and even situations that may take our lives. It is our hope in Christ that helps us to endure, and our focus on our heavenly destination in Him that helps us stay focused to the very end. Many of us are in pain. Rejoice. Muscle through it, trusting that God will help you to endure, and while it may not go away, His peace which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.