Why? By Holly Spate

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).


This question is asked by both believers and unbelievers alike. For believers, we will experience many things in our life that have us scratching our heads, kneeling in prayer, and asking, “Why?” Why did this happen? Why me? Why now?

Most have asked and heavily contemplated the question of questions:

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

We may never understand why we experience certain trials this side of heaven, but Jesus himself reminded us that we would have trials and should not be surprised when they come. He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

I have been reading forums on many sites and listening to sermons online. Something that’s been repeated/shared many times is how many believers have been hit hard recently with hard times/trials. I’ve heard it said that God is more interested in our character than our comfort. I do believe Christ is interested in us becoming more like Him… being His hands and feet… sharing the hope we have because of Him with others. He’s interested in using us, our story, our trials to bless, encourage, and help others.

If you’re going through a trial today, or many trials, know that the Son still shines!

Your heavenly Father will see you through.

Some more good news for your heart… even during our trials and times of deep darkness or despair, we are told to be of good cheer because our Savior has overcome. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He can use every trial for our good and His glory. I heard someone recently say the following, which really resonated with me: “If you’re a believer and are experiencing trials, this is as close to hell as you will ever be, but if you’re not a believer, this life is as close to heaven as you will ever be. ”

Wow… how profound… how true!

While going through trials, remember as well that this time in your life does not define you. It is a moment in time. The passing of each test in the trial can refine you… make you better… teach you lessons… make you more empathetic… more Christlike.

No matter what trial you may be in the thick of, or if a trial is soon to come, hold tight to the Savior and remember, we all go through trials, but as a Christian, you never walk alone.

Hopefully, this will encourage you as well. One day I remember crying out to the Lord about a situation that we kept finding ourselves in… something that was completely out of our control. I remember saying, “I just want to have some stability, God!” The second after I uttered those words, I immediately had this thought which I knew was God clearly speaking to my heart…. “You have always had stability…I AM your stability.”

And you, if you’re a son or daughter of the King of kings, you too have stability. He is your stability! Let that thought sink in a while.

While going through trials, remember you’re never going through them alone. Your heavenly Father has promised to walk by your side. He promises to take care of you and see you through. Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

And as you walk, remember that God loves you. He is with you. He is working for you. Don’t allow yourself to get down or discouraged. Many of you may be thinking, that’s easy for you to say; you don’t know what I’ve been going through.

And you’re right. I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know what trials and hard times you’re facing or have faced in your past. But I can relate to the fact that no one is immune. I know what it’s like to have your world turned upside down overnight.

When I get down or feel discouraged, I have to remind myself that, as Christians, we are just passing through this world… thank God! This world is not our home. And God is both trustworthy and faithful. He has a plan and a purpose in our sufferings. As Christians, our hope is solely in Him; we are never to become too comfortable here. We have eternity to look forward to! An eternity so perfect, so beautiful our minds can’t comprehend. An eternity no one can snatch away.

1 Corinthians 2:9 reminds us: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Just think, friend… the best is STILL yet to come! We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. We haven’t even begun to live life. As a believer, you haven’t even begun to live your life! These truths have brought hope to my heart when I’ve experienced deep sadness, when I’ve experienced sickness, despair, loss and pain.

I am generally a very private person by nature. However, I feel, as a sister in Christ, that transparency can help edify others. So, here it goes… I have suffered various trials in my life, but this past year has been one of the most difficult times in my life. We’ve suffered a job loss and have been looking/applying for the last seven months in this uncertain economy. Still praying/ believing for an open door… an opportunity. The first part of the 2023 year was spent comforting our teenage daughters who had lost their young friend (just 16). He and his mom died suddenly in a car accident. Then, in May, I received a call from my mom informing me that my dad’s nurse didn’t think he had much time left. I flew to be with him. My siblings, mom, and I were with him during his last few days and were beside him when he took his last earthly breath. It was a very difficult time. He was a good man… faithful… a good dad, and the only grandpa my girls knew… a difficult time for everyone.

The morning of my dad’s funeral, I felt so sick I could barely get ready. After the funeral, my husband took me home. The sickness got worse, and I was taken to the ER. Scans were done, and we were informed that I had a large tumor on my brain. At the doctor’s recommendation, we felt it best to pack up and drive home for care since I could be in the hospital for a while, and it would be better for our family of four if we were nearer to our home.

By God’s grace, I don’t remember much after learning of the tumor (can’t remember our long car ride back home). I woke up in a hospital with my head shaved, hooked up to IVs with nurses going to and fro, and people constantly coming in and out to take vitals, give medicine, ask me questions, etc. The surgery to remove the tumor was done and went well. Two more surgeries would follow due to a complication and then later an infection. I am very thankful for God’s protection throughout the whole ordeal and for getting me to a good hospital with excellent care.

I am thankful to still be here. I am thankful for my family… their prayers, support, encouragement, and love. I am very thankful for the kindness of friends and family. I am thankful for my mom’s decision, despite all she was going through/feeling, to take a flight so she could help and stay with our daughters so my husband could be with me in the hospital. (We don’t have any relatives that live close.) It was comforting to know my daughters could have fun with my mom and make memories during such a difficult, stressful time. I didn’t want them focusing on all that was happening to me. I wanted them to have some joy and peace.

I was in the hospital for many weeks. Thankfully, I am recovering at home, engaging in therapy sessions, but I have lost a lot of my taste, don’t have much of an appetite, lost a lot of weight, and have been battling daily dizziness and imbalance issues for the past month, which have left me both discouraged and stressed.

It has affected my life, and I have been unable to do many things due to the dizziness. I know I have much to be thankful for, and I am so thankful for God’s protection and seeing me through each step of this stressful, delicate process. I know He was watching over me every second. I am believing for His complete and continued healing as my body/brain readjusts and takes the time needed to heal. Appreciate prayers to that end.

No matter what you may be going through, continue to put your trust and your hope in the One who created you. As we see signs converging all around, I am reminded to keep looking up for our redemption… our Savior draws nigh. I am so looking forward to His return. I find myself longing for His return even more than I had before.

As we get closer to that day, I am reminded of how short this life really is. I am so thankful Jesus is my Savior and so grateful that my life hasn’t even really begun yet. Your life hasn’t really begun yet… never forget.

There are a lot of people struggling today… a lot of people going through trials, so many hurting and in a dark place, but I want to encourage you today. As believers, we’re just passing through. This earth is not our true home. This earth is not your home. This time on this earth is passing quickly, and soon we, all who have put their trust in Jesus, will forever be with our Lord and Savior. We have so much to look forward to, and the very best is STILL yet to come!

One day we will be with our Creator… the maker of heaven and earth. One day we will see Jesus face-to-face. One day we will receive new bodies, and we will never experience sin, sickness, or stress again. The things which may bear down on us in this life will be nonexistent in heaven. How wonderful to know there is a perfect existence waiting for us. A perfect body. A perfect home.

John 14:2-4 reminds us, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

Our Savior is preparing a place for us. He’s preparing a place for YOU! How remarkable is that?

Looking back on this year, I am so very thankful that the very best part of my life is still ahead. When you’re experiencing sickness and feel weak, realizing you’ll one day be given a body that will never be sick or weak again is encouraging. I so look forward to the day when Jesus calls us home, and we will be given our new bodies… bodies that will never wear out, never get hurt, or be sick again…. Amazing!

It’s interesting how when life gets turned upside down, it makes one pay closer attention. It makes a person realize not to take anything good for granted. It also can turn our attention even more toward our Redeemer. I longed for the rapture before all the trials came flooding in, but I yearn for it even more when in the midst of the trials.

This year brought many significant losses. But I am so thankful that my dad and my daughters’ young friend and his mom were all believers. I know they are in a much better place, and I am so thankful they are all happy, whole, healed, and in the presence of Jesus. It is never easy to lose a loved one or friend, but it is comforting as a believer to know they are safe with Jesus and that we have the promise that we will see them again one day.

I look forward to seeing my dad… seeing his big smile, hearing his vibrant voice. I often wonder if he’s aware of all that’s happened. Nevertheless, I am so thankful he put his faith and trust in Jesus years and years ago and that he and my mom took us to church and shared Christ with us kids at a young age.

I look forward to the day when I can see both my earthly father and my Heavenly Father face-to-face. I look forward to the day when I can give both of them a big hug. Hopefully, that day is just around the corner. But, in the meantime, God calls me… He calls each of us to keep persevering. Each day He gives is a gift. Until we take our last breath in these earthly bodies, we are called to keep serving… to keep proclaiming… to keep being faithful… to keep praying for the lost… to keep running the race Paul spoke of… to keep clinging to the Father, the giver of all good things.

Jesus could come back at any moment. The Bible is very clear that He is the only way. He is our only true hope. John 14:6 states: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

If you have put your trust in Jesus, rejoice!… a beautiful eternity… a miraculous, perfect life awaits you! If you have not put your trust in Jesus, time is short… do it today. No one is promised tomorrow… no one.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Pray to Him today. Put your hope and trust in Him today. Today may be all you have… you may not have tomorrow. Call out to the One who made you, who loves you, who came to redeem and rescue you! Our heavenly Father has made it so simple… in childlike faith, just believe and receive, and when you do, He will be right there… waiting with open arms to receive you.

Romans 10: 9-10 states: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Run to him today. Accept Him into your heart and life today.

And, if you’re His, remember… we may not always understand the Why’s in our life, but we know Who is in control of our life, and that knowledge should bring us both comfort and joy.

Blessings to you and yours,



Because He Lives :: By Holly Spate

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Peter 1:18-21).

As we get ready to head into the month of April, we will soon be celebrating another Easter. Although it’s fun to eat Easter candy, participate in a special meal around a pretty table, and watch children enjoy the fun of coloring and hunting for eggs, these things all pale in comparison to the deeper reason – the real reason why we celebrate.

For every believer, Easter should feel like Christmas morning. It should be a time of joy and rejoicing, prayer and reflection, praise and thanksgiving as we remember God’s amazing love for us.

We should be in awe when we think of the sacrifice conveyed in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

We should be equally in awe – our hearts bursting with unending praise when we remember Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Romans 5:9 should deeply move us: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Ephesians 1:6-7 should have our hearts rejoicing: “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

1 John 1:7 reminds us of the cleansing power of His shed blood: “…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

There is nothing… NOTHING we can add to what He did. His act of love was for us but did not require any intervention from us, as we literally could never save ourselves. We are saved solely by placing our faith and trust in Him alone and what He did on the cross. We rejoice because His innocent, shed blood covers all our filthy sin and washes each white as snow – every. single. one.

And after Jesus took His last breath on the cross, his body placed in a tomb, the third day came. Easter morning had come. Redemption had come.

Hallelujah… He arose!

His mission was complete. Broken, hopeless, sinful humanity now had a bridge back to the Father. The Creator had saved His creation. Jesus had paid the price we could not pay. It was a price He chose to pay out of His marvelous, incredible love for each of us. All the world now had hope. All the world now had forgiveness and cleansing of sin. All the world had a Savior and an eternity forever bright because of Jesus.

This free gift came at a great price. It came because of a great love. And it is available to all who call upon His name, believe in Him, and place their trust in Him.

Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

We should rejoice on Easter and every day of the year because the greatest gift ever given came from our heavenly Father to touch a sinful, broken people. He could have left us in our sin and darkness. He could have left us in our hopelessness. He could have left us with no bright future. He could have left us orphaned. But, thankfully, He didn’t.

God sending His Son was the greatest rescue mission ever. A mission like no other – a mission that would change hearts and change the world forever.

As you celebrate this Easter, take time to give thanks for all God has done. He sent His most precious gift to earth, wrapped in the purest of love for all of us. His only begotten Son, the lamb of God. And while here, Jesus walked the earth, lived a perfect, sinless life, and willingly went to the cross. His incredibly agonizing pain on the cross, his death, his burial, and his resurrection were all a part of God’s great plan – all given so we could be forgiven of all our sin – past, present, and future – so we could have a way back to the Father.

He did it for you. He did it for me. He paid the price for all of us.

Because He Lives, we can have a bright future.

Because He Lives, we can have a very Happy Easter.

He is risen! (Matthew 28:6)

Blessings to you and yours,