IcebergsIn the frigid waters around Greenland are countless icebergs, some little and some gigantic. If you’d observe them carefully, you’d notice that sometimes the small ice floes move in one direction while their massive counterparts flow in another. The explanation is simple. Surface winds drive the little ones, whereas the huge masses of ice are carried along by deep ocean currents.

When we face trials and tragedies, it’s helpful to see our lives as being subject to two forces — surface winds and ocean currents. The winds represent everything changeable, unpredictable, and distressing. But operating simultaneously with these gusts and gales is another force that’s even more powerful. It is the sure movement of God’s wise and sovereign purposes, the deep flow of His unchanging love.

Suffering is defined as anything causing pain or distress; calamity. From the biblical viewpoint, our despair and pain began with the entrance of sin into the world. Both mankind and all creation were afflicted with “thorns and thistles,” sin, death, and decay (Gn. 3:16–19; Rom 8:18–21). Job tells us that because of sin, misery is a common human experience, and our short life is full of trouble (Job 14:1–6). It is impossible for human beings to avoid natural calamity, physical injury, and interpersonal conflict (2 Chr 20:9), yet God uses affliction to instruct and discipline His people.

Today, many people are dealing with trials and tribulations. Some were brought about because of their sin; some because of the sin of others; some just because we live in a fallen world. Whatever the cause, know that a merciful God seeks to love us through the trials as we trust Him with our daily lives.

The following poem is a good one to remember as we wake up to face trials of this world.

New Every Morning

Yea, “new every morning,” though we may awake,
Our hearts with old sorrow beginning to ache;
With old work unfinished when night stayed our hand
With new duties waiting, unknown and unplanned;
With old care still pressing, to fret and to vex,
With new problems rising, our minds to perplex
In ways long familiar, in paths yet untrod,
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!
His faithfulness fails not; it meets each new day
New guidance for every new step of the way;
New grace for new trials, new trust for old fears,
New patience for bearing the wrongs of the years,
New strength for new burdens, new courage for old,
New faith for whatever the day may unfold;
As fresh for each need as the dew on the sod;
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!
Annie Johnson Flint

Personal Application

What do these verses from God’s Word tell you: 1 Cor.1:3–4, Is. 66:13–14, Ps. 23:4? Who do you know is going through some tough times? Why not send them this story and a note of encouragement?

Jim Grassi image and signature  Jim Grassi, D. Min.