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This blog was written by author and philanthropist Cindy Brinker Simmons. View the video below to watch an interview with Cindy.

Are you singing from the mountaintops right now? Is life good? Really good? Praise God! But at some time, we all experience crisis. It has been said that we are either in the middle of a crisis, just finishing one, or about to head into one.

God is quick to remind us that suffering is a universal experience.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” -1 Peter 4:12

That fiery ordeal is predicted. It will happen. You won’t go looking for trouble, but it sure comes looking for you! Misery is as much a part of life as joy. Count on it.
So, what does God say to do? God does not tell you to crawl into a hole, retreat, or fake happiness. Stand your ground. Do not be shaken. God instructs you to persevere.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” -1 Peter 5:8-9

The Bible tells you to stay disciplined, vigilant, and faithful. God reminds you that you belong to a fellowship of others who are suffering.

Life is hard, but God calls you to be His warrior. He does not expect you to back down in fear or hopelessness.

“‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’” -Joshua 1:9

God commands you to move forward. He says He will be with you every step of the way, never forsaking nor forgetting you. God deserves your full attention. Throughout the Bible, God is consistent with a repetitive message: nothing can separate you from His love. He is to be trusted.  God is the only One with the full perspective on any situation. That is why He commands you to persevere. He is power in your time of weakness.

“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” -2 Corinthians 12:9

God’s power rests on you through Jesus and is magnified as it lifts you up and propels you forward even when your own strength, energy, and motivation are depleted. You and I were made to be dependent on God. Our brokenness provides the ideal backdrop for the display of divine power.  

You only have to look a little into your history to see how God has provided for you, carried you, and protected you in the past, and He will do it again and again! Do not forget that God’s outrageous grace and unwavering love for you through the death of His beloved Son Jesus Christ is for your rescue, redemption, and restoration.

“‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’” -Matthew 5:16

Your dedication to Christ is magnified as those around you observe hope, calm, and joy radiating through your affliction. A watching world sees Jesus’ transforming power in you. Your suffering becomes your platform to showcase His grace and strength in you. Yes, people are walking witnesses when suffering invades their lives.

Dear one, never let messy moments of desperation determine your feelings about God. Do not establish what you think about God when you are in a crisis. Do not launch your faith or judge the Almighty Creator when chaos is coming at you like a freight train. God is still glorious even when your circumstances are not. The breadth of God’s character, mercy, and grace does not change when adversity tackles you. Just because something looks bad to you does not mean it looks bad to God.

Many times, the greatest breakthroughs sprout from torched lives. Many blessings are only received from the residue of pain, and the path of suffering is the only way to attain them.  God can use your darkest moments for your greatest good.

Those who persevere by fully trusting in and loving God will be given a glorious reward. Those who have staying power will pass the finish line and collect the prize. A person’s steadfast endurance will be honored by spending eternity with the King of Kings in Heaven.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” -James 1:12

Persevere, my friend!