“How long, O Lord?” is a familiar cry to those who experience suffering and despair. In my own experience this question can be asked in both steadfast faith-filled hope and in faithless unbelief. I’ve asked it in both ways in the same hour or minute.
Trials teach hard lessons, as Charles Spurgeon said: “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”
And sometimes you get seasick when you’re learning to “kiss the wave.”
Kissing the Wave?
But what can Spurgeon mean, to learn to kiss the wave?
One thing he cannot mean is to call evil good. God’s word forbids us to do such a thing: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). After he revealed his true identity to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, Joseph said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20). Despite all of his hardship, Joseph was encouraged because he knew God was sovereign over his past, and he saw some of the good work God had already done through his trials.
Hindsight is 20/20, though, right? Where do we find comfort when we’re in the thick of trials in which we can’t see any good (at least not yet)? I think the answer to this question is also in Joseph’s story.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]