Difficulties and suffering can make us want to give up and throw ourselves a pity party. If we can’t find a way out of our trial and there’s no relief in sight, we may conclude that God really doesn’t deliver His people as He promised. At such times, the problem is not with the Lord but with our understanding of His deliverance.
Paul wrote his epistle to the Philippians while he was chained and guarded in a Roman jail. But he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. Throughout this letter, he was able to look beyond his circumstances and rejoice in Christ. Although he wasn’t being delivered out of prison, countless people were being saved. All the guards heard the gospel, and Paul’s example gave fellow believers the courage to proclaim Christ without fear.
God’s deliverance doesn’t always match our expectations:
• Sometimes He removes us from a difficult situation so we don’t have to face it anymore. This is the solution we all want, but it is not His only method.
• At other times, He may choose to strengthen us through our hardship. Our circumstance doesn’t change, but He sustains us in it, enabling us to trust Him each step of the way.
• Finally, God may give us eternal deliverance through death. Paul said that departing and being with Christ would be “very much better” (Phil. 1:23), yet this is often the option we dread most.
When your affliction is lasting longer than you want, ask, What fruit is God producing in my life? and How is He working in other people’s lives through this situation? You can trust the Lord, no matter how He chooses to deliver you.