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What I am about to say is something that I have learned as a Christian who has dealt with several ups and downs. Some of these things, I have shared on my blog. Other things, I have not.

With these experiences, I always hope to encourage someone. Anyway, I understand that some won’t share today’s sentiments. Then again, I know that some will.

As always, these are words from my heart and from how I have seen and felt the love of God through my life. Let me be clear, my life has had more joy than sorrow and more good times than bad. This further allows me to declare that God is a good and merciful God!

Part of His goodness is teaching me that being a child of God doesn’t exempt me from hardship, so that I may mature in Him. Thus, I must learn how to see God’s love, not only in good times, but also when times are bad. While God doesn’t cause the bad times, He allows them. When He does this, it is often hard to wrap my head around, but then I think about Jesus.

“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

I remember that, as Jesus suffered on the cross for you and I, the love of God was there with Him. In fact, it raised Him up and out of a grave. Through all of it, never was Jesus alone in what He endured. Likewise, I am never alone.

“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

Acts 2:24

As a child of God, I have learned that whatever I am going through is not about me. There is always a bigger picture that I must see: God’s perfect will and plan. No. I am not saying His plan is that I suffer.

What I am saying is that, though, I may have to go through some very difficult times, I have to remember that this life is temporary. What happens here is only part of my story, because I did not come here to stay. That means that I have to see everything through the eyes of God’s wisdom and God’s truth.

I must always see that God is ALWAYS in control, even when my burdens tell me that He is not. Even when life gets hard to bear, wisdom from God says that these afflictions are but for a while. Wisdom from God also says that, just as Jesus suffered, so will His children.

“As it is written: For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Romans 8:36

This lets me know that my suffering has purpose. It is never for nothing. Instead, when it comes, the job of suffering is to teach me and to be a testimony of God’s holy power and ability to restore my life. Meanwhile, my job is to remember that I am still loved by God. I am always loved by God.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?”

Romans 8:35

As God’s child, my life belongs to Him and is in His hands. Because I am saved, I know that I have a heavenly home and eternal life waiting for me. Until then, I have His promise to never leave nor forsake me and that all good things come from Him.

“For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers, which He swore to them by oath.”

Deuteronomy 4:31

“Every generous act of giving and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father who made the heavenly lights, in whom there is no inconsistency or shifting shadow.”

James 1:17

Definitely, in the middle of a storm, what I am writing is not always easy to say. Still, through a storm, it is His love and His Word that I have learned to believe in and cling to. No matter what, I choose to always believe that I am loved.