“So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10b, NLT).

Suffering is a part of life we’d rather do without, but unfortunately, like death and taxes, it’s here to stay. Two famous stories of suffering and loss are those of Job and Joseph. Job woke up one fine morning, thinking it was going to be another beautiful day, only to receive one crushing blow after another, learning his family and everything he owned was wiped out. Joseph was ripped from everything he knew and loved, sold into slavery, falsely accused and put in jail. Both were sent reeling: unexpectedly and inexplicably devastated.

We know the end of their stories: everything was restored to them and then some, happy endings all around. That doesn’t happen in real life. Most of the time it seems we suffer loss and that’s it. But what God restored to Job and Joseph gives us a glimpse into the heart of God. He knows what we suffer, he feels our losses and he will make right all the wrongs we’ve experienced. No, probably not in this life, but that’s the hope we have in Jesus: life after death, joy after mourning, peace after war, strength after weakness and restoration after loss. We will not be left desolate when our strength and hope is in him.

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