Yesterday just before a meeting of the local pastors, I found a little booklet "Anchors in the Storm: Truths that Hold Us Steady." Condensed from John Stowell's The Upside of Down: Finding Hope When It Hurts, the little booklet was just what the doctor ordered for me.
Here's a sample:
Part of the process of working through pain is to learn to hang onto what we have from the neck up. When our hearts are broken and hurt, there doesn't seem to be a pipeline from the brain to the emotions. That's okay. Just don't let go of what you know...Today I will trust God to bring good even from pain. Let's pray for one another and encourage each other, and be thankful, so thankful, for the faithfulness of God, who will work all things for good according to his purposes, even when the Holy Spirit must interceed for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8:26-28). In the end, God is in control. I'm so glad I'm not.
What can we know in the midst of trials? One thing is this: The testing of faith produces endurance. God says, in James 1:3-4, that the pain process has a purpose. It will, in the end, result in stronger faith, more stability, and, finally, joy.
James writes: My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.