Back in the 1970s, the personal world of Francis Schaeffer, Christian thinker and theologian, was invaded by cancer. When asked how his diagnosis affected him, Schaeffer said that his reaction, though not without tears, was similar to the reactions of his four children. All of them, in their own way, said, “Dad, I couldn’t have taken it if you hadn’t emphasized the Fall so completely in your teaching.”
Schaeffer said that although most Christians strongly believe that the entrance of sin into the human race (Gen. 3) has had devastating effects on the world, many get angry or question God when disease or hardship invades the lives of believers.
When the apostle Peter wrote his first letter, he acknowledged that his readers had been visited by troubling circumstances (1 Pet. 1:6). How did those early Christians react? They rejoiced (v.6), for they cherished more than life itself the purifying effect of their trials—the proving and preserving of their faith.
One day, when we see Christ, much of our praise to Him will be the direct result of life’s difficulties, which He has used for His wise purposes. But remember, our praise needn’t wait until then!
Thinking It Over
What troubling circumstances have invaded your life?
How are you responding? Why?
How does 1 Peter 1:1-9 encourage you?
God can use life's setbacks to move us ahead.