Life has a way of being hard and leaving us with emotional and sometimes physical scars. I don’t know about you, but at times I have felt like I’m going through trials within trials within trials. Like, I can’t get past one yet one or two more have begun. The trials are usually accompanied by pain, too. Sometimes its a physical pain, other times it is emotional and once in a while, it is both.
In 1st Peter 2, Peter talks about trials and hard times. He tells us in verses 20-21 that suffering is part of our calling and that Christ has left us an example so that we could follow in His footsteps.
“For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”
Suffering and trials are simply going to be a part of the Christians life. God in His goodness not only provided the sacrifice to atone for our sins but also gave us an example and footsteps to follow through the hard times. The Bible tells us in Romans 8:28 that those trials will work for the good of those who love Him.
One thing the Lord has taught me through all I have experienced is that the trials serve His purposes. He uses those trials to grow us and make us more like Christ as well as draw us into a deeper relationship with Him. As a Christian matures, the trials are almost welcomed because maturity uncovers the understanding that the Lord is working in their life. Maturity brings understanding and a greater awareness of the things of God.
The trials, when walking through them, are wounds. They feel that way to me anyway. Pain that you’d rather find a way to ease, bleeding that you want to stop, heat you would like to cool down. Jesus surely felt physical pain when He hung on the cross as he took the weight of our sin on His body. Can you relate? Have you felt that way before?
A few weeks ago, I heard Scars by I Am They on the radio about scars and the words painted a perspective-changing picture. It made me stop and think about pain, wounds, and scars.
What are scars? They are a healed wound. At one time it was hot, throbbing, and bleeding but time took the pain away. The bleeding stopped and the skin repaired itself. The scar that’s left is a visual reminder of the wound. The pain in our lives is the same thing.
Some seasons of our lives are really painful. The kind of pain you want to wiggle out from under and find a way to make it stop. For some of us, it is years and it feels like things are never going to change. It feels like the throbbing and bleeding will never stop, that healing will never happen. But seasons come and seasons go. The difficult season will pass at some point, the pain will be gone and only the memory will remain. The scar is the memory and the way that difficult season changed us. Our skin in that spot isn’t the same as it was even though it has healed and we aren’t the same as we were, either.
I hope that encourages you today. Whatever is painful and oozing in your life right now, know that it will heal. That is nature’s way. God created the rhythm of seasons and the healing process. We see it in nature and in our bodies. Our physical and emotional wounds heal with time. Most importantly, the Lord’s wounds healed and they will forever serve as a reminder to what was done for us.
Without our scars, we wouldn’t know the Lord, either. We come to know the Lord more intimately through the trials that leave scars. As He walks through the trials with us we come to know Him intimately. In actuality, that is an amazing example of God’s goodness. He brings us to hard things so that we can know Him more intimately. I am forever grateful for my scars but it took many years for me to be able to say that. I see them now as a gift.
What struck me the most was the line about Jesus’ scars being the reason we can know the Lord. It’s a truth that I think is too often taken for granted. When you stop and think about it, without Jesus’ death, we couldn’t know the Lord at all. His scars provide the possibility for us to know the Lord in the first place and then we come to know the Lord’s heart through our individual trials.
In the same way Christ gave us the example to follow, he also has scars on His body reminiscent from His greatest trial. The things that have caused my scars seem insignificant when I consider what caused the scars that will forever mark Jesus’ body. But I am beyond grateful that He paid the price and made it possible for me to be able to know the Lord.
As we walked through the Goodness of God Challenge, that’s the one thing that has stood out and surprised me. More often than not, I saw God’s Goodness in the hard things. It wasn’t all the good things that happened that made me see the Lord at work. If you haven’t joined the challenge yet, you can sign up here to finish out the year with me. I’m planning on going and providing challenge sheets through December.
Again, I find myself grateful for God’s goodness! Have you had that perspective shift after walking through a painful trial? Have you found yourself more in love with Jesus this because of the trials you have walked through? Tell me about it in the comments below!