1 Peter 1.7–‘that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.’
People have always been surrounded by problems, dangers, temptations, and tragedies. Such experiences are not restricted to any generation. It may appear that calamity has fastened itself upon one nation, or upon a small group of nations, but a long view, covering historical trends and experiences of international life will show that these brightly burning fever spots of suffering and chaos are more or less evenly matched and balanced by others spots in other areas, at other times. Families and individuals may escape the clouds of catastrophe for a period of time, only to encounter a day when the sunlight of security is completely eclipsed by the black clouds of distress, agony, and sorrow. In an hour like that, courage is at a stiff premium. The most difficult thing to do is to face the ominous prospect with a steady eye and a true heart, believing that God knows the causes and circumstances and that he will see that our struggle against the forces of adversity does not hurt us beyond his power to restore. Real sorrow is a softening and refining force when faced in the consciousness of the divine will. Sudden shock thrusts people into a new and powerful awareness of God, and the secret of added strength and growing beauty in human character often lies deeply hidden in circumstances of tribulation and grief.
Most certainly the blackest night must ultimately retreat before advancing dawn, and we must meet the sunrise with fresh courage and rekindled hope, through the Father’s infinite mercy and abiding love for his children. The impossible becomes the possible as we realize his promise– ‘I am with you always, even to the end of the world’.