Several friends came by and as they prayed for Hannah I considered how God’s love has been so tangible and visible through the kindness, generosity and selfless giving of so many of you. Thank you for being His hands and shoiwing His heart to us in so many ways. God has worked miracles through your prayers, so persevere in prayer. The ears of the Almighty hear your petitions and He delights to grant your requests to increase your faith and glorify His name.
I write the second half of this to encourage you Hannah. As you lay on the hospital bed unable to sleep I want you to know how grateful I am to be on this couch next to you…even though I would prefer to be on that inflatable bed with you…but I understand. I move around a lot and it’s hard for you to sleep.
You are such a wonderful blessing in my life Hannah. Through your example and endurance I am learning one of the most important lessons of my life. From watching you and being by you side through all these various trials I am learning what it means to hope in the midst of suffering .
We hear the word ‘hope’ used in a lot of improper ways. It is is a word that often carries no real weight because the objects of our ‘hope’ are generally temporary things and the ‘hope’ that we have in these things is nothing more than an uncertain desire. When I say hope, however, I mean it in the true sence of the word; I mean an unshakable confident expectation of future blessing based on God’s promises. Posessing this hope is the unique privelage that we have as disciples of Jesus. We do not hope in hope, nor is our hope founded on the sinking sand of this age. We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from dead! (1 Peter 1:3) That is so much more than a pick-me-up verse to put on the calendar. That is the solid rock on which all of our hope is built. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the assurance that He has purchased us by the blood of His cross, and that in Him we are secure, no matter what this life may bring. Neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is our hope in the midst of suffering.
Why then does God allow suffering? I cannot give a sufficient answer, but this I do know. God allows suffering to dim the lights in this life and allow the glory that will be revealed at the coming of His Son to shine brightly in our hearts. Everyone who has this hope in Him is purified, just as He is pure. Hearts are purified as the flames of suffering burn away the dross of worldliness. Faith is purifed as suffering tears from our grip all of the temporary things that we naturally cling to. Hope is purified as suffering cuts away the unfruitful branches which keep our eyes from seeing the Son. Rejoice therefore my beloved bride. His hand may feel heavy, but all of the most beautiful vessels are crafted with the hands of such a Potter. These trials may seem overwhelming, but what comparison are they to the glory that will be revealed? The pruning knife may cause tears, but the fruit which is being produced through your life is feeding the multitudes. My love for you and my admiration for you continue to grow for you daily. Hope in the Lord and in the return of our King..
May the grace and peace of God our Father fill all who are in Christ Jesus.