"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (v.1)
By now it should be fairly obvious to even the newest disciple of Christ that if, like a "corn of wheat afraid to die", we shrink back from being ploughed into the red furrows of suffering, we shall remain alone alone, and unfruitful. Someone has said, "God never uses anyone unless He puts them through the test of suffering and pain." Strong words. Do you find yourself flinching as you read them? I do. Yet it is not wrong to flinch at the approach of a spiritual test. God knows how you feel. The issue, however, is not about flinching; it is about following. Are we willing to open our hearts to the Lord and say: "Do to me as You will"? I suggest the only way we will be able to do that is when we have the thought clearly fixed in our minds that God will never allow us to go through anything without providing all the grace we need to bear it, and will turn the test into a testimony that will eternally glorify Him and make our characters more like His. Jesus, remember, began His ministry here on earth with a wilderness experience, and ended it with "Let not your hearts be troubled", not because they were to be protected from troubles, but because they were to "trust in God". Faith in God will not save you from suffering, but it will save you through it - the suffering can be made into an instrument of redemption. Remember, you cannot bless without bleeding, and you cannot succour until you have suffered.