Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isa. 43:1-2 (NIV)

     And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Pet. 5:10 (ESV) 

     I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, thank you, so many times over, for the way you come to us in your Word. You don’t merely give us “verses to claim”, you reveal yourself as a Father to know—a Father who loves and cares for us, so much more than we realize.

     Today, in particular, thank you for validating our sufferings, and for pledging yourself to us in our hard places and broken stories. There is no name that you call us that is any more precious to us than, “Mine.” We are honored to be yours, and relish everything belonging to you implies.

     Father, you say to us, not “if”, but “when” we pass through deep waters and rushing rivers, you will be with us. Thank you for being upfront about life between the resurrection and return of Jesus. There will be, and there are difficult seasons and all types of suffering in this life.

     Grant us the perspective Peter had. No matter how many years you give us in this world, sufferings in this life are for “a little while”. In the big scheme of things, it’s only going to hurt for “a little while“. Thank for you’re your promise to restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us—in, through, and after our suffering.

     And grant us Paul’s perspective, as well—his sense of redemptive math. The things you have prepared for us in the future, far, far, far out value the present sufferings we are called to endure now. Father, grant us the grace we need to suffer to your glory, strength to trust you in the hardships and with our heartaches, and wisdom and kindness to care for our fellow sufferers. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.