We all have seasons of trial, difficulty and suffering. Sometimes they are brief seasons and sometimes long. Pain has a way of narrowing our focus; we naturally get tunnel vision to the point that often all we think about or see is the problem, the circumstance, or the trial. Everything in life gets filtered through the grid of our trial.
I’ve been a counselor a long time and I have seen this over and over again in the lives of others; I’ve seen it in my own life, too.
Recently, a friend posted this Tozer quote on Facebook. It is a great reminder. When I read it my immediate response was “Oh, yeah!”
“When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” A.W. Tozer
The truth of this statement shatters our tunnel vision and gives grander perspective and value to our circumstance. It shifts our focus from the pain to the redemptive purposes of God within our trial. It reminds us that in the midst of our circumstance God is at work and though we may not see it happening, He is in the process of conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ. Father is redeeming that trial in our life for good.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers Romans 8:29.
When we take a moment to consider the life transforming work of God in our life through the suffering, it reduces anxiety and brings calming peace because we are reminded it is not for naught. We are being made more like Jesus. As we embrace that truth we hold less tightly to the trial. It shifts our focus from our trial to the beauty of God’s work in our life.
…To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness Isaiah 61:1-3.
May we pursue a growing desire to be more like Jesus.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.