My computer crashed today. I haven’t backed it up for probably a year so I’m tempted to anxiety over the files I’ve lost forever. I’m not sure how many sermons I’ve lost. It was hard not to complain and be frustrated today. I had to focus on God.
God tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Even in trials. He tells us to consider it a great joy when we experience various trials (James 1.2). We’re commanded to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5.18). This is rarely easy. It’s often painful. Yet it’s always good.
And that’s what you’d expect for a gospel people who center their lives on the “good” news. God is good. Goodness is the ultimate expression of his glory (Exodus 33). If God is good, if our lives are centered in the good news, and if God works all things together for good, then we have the resource to genuinely be joyful in the Lord and in trial. We can be thankful in everything. And we should be. We must be.
These truths are enough to make me thankful. As I type I feel the burden lifting. Thank you, Father. And yet it is also helpful to name specific tastes of God’s goodness I’m experiencing during this trial. I thank God…
- For my temporary health. And my familiy’s temporary health. This is far more important than my files.
- For the fact that my files can still be recovered. We haven’t got a full diagnosis of the problem with the computer so there’s still a possibility I can retrieve my files.
- For the reminder that he will provide our needs. He provides our finances. He’ll provide the tools I need for the life and ministry he wants me to live. I don’t need to worry about that.
- For the temporary sabbatical from my laptop. It’s crazy how connected our lives can become to certain pieces of technology. My laptop was the most crucial and now it’s at least temporarily gone. It’s a good chance to detox and refocus my life.
In the end, I thank God for this trial, even though I don’t know how it will be resolved. I rejoice in Jesus who saved me and walks with me. And I rejoice in this trial because it builds my endurance that will one day make me mature and complete, lacking nothing. That’s good news based on the ultimate good news, namely the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for me.
What trials are you going through? You certainly have church family and neighbors going through trials. How can you sensitively point them to the goodness of God in the midst of real and present pain?