Suffering Is the Rule, Not the Exception - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - September 28

Keep Getting Up
By: Anne Peterson

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. - 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Listening to a Charles Swindoll sermon one day got me to rethink how I look at trials. Swindoll said we look at them as if they are the exception. As if our lives normally would be stress-free. In John 16:33 Jesus told them they would have trouble, but that he has overcome the world.

Too often, we look at our struggles and wonder when our life will get back to “normal.” But what if trials and suffering are actually “normal” in this broken world, and stress-free days are the exception, rather than the rule?

With that in mind, I decided to try and change my thinking. If I looked at the trials and stressors of life as what Jesus tells me to expect, rather than what shouldn’t be happening, my attitude might be different.

We know when we face struggles we are not alone. God is with us in them. He assures us of that repeatedly. God tells us the rivers will not sweep over us and when we walk through the fire we will not be burned. Sure, we’d rather not go through any of it, but God is more interested in developing our character than he is with whatever we face. And when we are stretched beyond what we think we can handle, it’s never more than what He can. God does allow us to go through more than we can handle, because he wants us to lean on him.

God will direct our paths, inspirational image

We get perplexed because we don’t know why things happen to us, at times. But we don’t give up and quit. Do we feel like quitting? Yes! But we know we’re not in this alone. God promised us in Hebrews 13:5 that he would never leave us or forsake us. That means he’s with us in our trials. And when we do get knocked down by life, we get back up. We learn to lean on God. To put our whole weight on the Almighty Lord. Who never gets weary or tired, as he tells us in Isaiah 40:28.

When we’re married, we can help each other when one of us feels overwhelmed. We can remind our partner God is sovereign; nothing happens to us that surprises God. God tells us to NOT lean on our own understanding in Proverbs 3:5-6, but we still do it. God promises if we will trust in him, he will direct our paths. God clearly explains in Isaiah 55:8-9 that his ways and thoughts are different than ours. But stubbornly, we still act as if we are the same as God.

And when things are out of control, God promises that he will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). All means all. No matter how impossible things look. In fact, the things that are impossible with man are possible with God (Luke 18:27). When we need strength, we can go to God. When we need comfort, he tells us that he will comfort us (2 Corinthians 1:3).

There was once a story of a little girl who wanted to recite Psalm 23. When she got up, she said, “The Lord is my shepherd and that’s all I want.”

The truth is, God is all we need. And someday, like Paul, we will get to the place where we see our sufficiency is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5). And in the meantime? Well, we will face our trials, and even when they knock us off our feet. We will brush ourselves off and keep getting up. And someday, we’ll hear the words we longed to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. And it will be worth it all.

Anne Peterson and her husband, Michael have been married for 43 years. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There:Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has also written another memoir, Broken: A Story of Abuse, Survival and Hope, as well as other books you can check out here. Sign up for anne’s newsletter at and receive a free eBook by clicking the tab. Or connect with her on Facebook.

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