I was having a conversation with my daughter last night and she asked a question that all of us ask at one time or another (or repeatedly): “Why do we have to suffer all the time?” She said she has a hard time expecting great things when her ‘luck’ has been so bad.
We all go from struggle to struggle (valleys) and victory to victory (peaks). The struggle you have now is (hopefully) not the struggle you were dealing with last year.
NOTE: I respectfully submit this for consideration to those of us who are dealing with somewhat normal daily life. Please don’t be offended if you are dealing with a major struggle or illness. I recognize other dynamics are at play in the times of major trials.
But we all have tests of our faith, you know? Divorce, relationship issues, family issues, deaths… things that are life-cyclical, traumatic, and still hard to get through!
As we talked, we agreed that, Yes, life is very challenging and God wants it that way. He wants you to have TOTAL trust in Him. But when we get over one challenge or struggle, we get to take that victory into the next struggle as a sort of ‘higher position’ to stand upon, and in this way we find ourselves climbing closer to Him. He is in Mount Zion after all!
Consider these verses in Hebrews 12:
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the [j]general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant…
And Ezekiel 43:
12 This is the law of the [g]temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.
So as we ‘climb’ through life, we can sense the subtle, inner joy that accompanies us on our next journey because after every season of struggle and eventual, answered prayer, there is a victory and view from the top. Sigh! But, until we come to the heavenly Jerusalem, there will be another mountain to descend. Sigh. But Yes! – Our victory through Him is what sustains us, and we get to add more victory to the previous victory in this sanctification process. That victory should give us a sense of joy, but it has to be cultivated and searched out. A lot of the time it is just not apparent, or if it is, the euphoria doesn’t seem to last.
But the ability to retain the joy from previous victories is the upside of suffering. We don’t go back to square one. It is my hope that this comes to mind as we descend down the other side, once again, into our refining and purging from earth-stuff that can’t cross over into our spiritual abode with Him.
5b Weeping may endure for a night, But [c]joy comes in the morning.
The first place we see the sun rise is on the top of the mountain.