Sunday, December 6, 2009

Points on Suffering

1. Expect suffering. Life is going to have disappointments, pain, illness, death. Sin brought those things into the world.

2. Don't give in to the suffering. Submit to God, not your circumstances. I know there's a fine line here. What if in submitting to God, we're submitting to what he's allowed in our lives? You still submit to God. A verse in Psalms that haunts me is 105:17-18. It says, "He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant. His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron..." Don't allow your soul to enter into your suffering.

3. Listen for God's voice. This is a Rhema word---hearing Him. He wants to speak to your heart in the midst of your suffering. Faith comes by hearing (Rhema), and hearing by the word of God.

4. Choose to praise God. Rejoice in the midst of your sufferings. This is what will turn everything around in your heart & mind.

5. Look for God's glory to be revealed in you. (Romans 8:18) There will be an end to our suffering...but it may not be here on earth. The end of Hebrews 11 proves that some finish without seeing this glory here on earth. When you "pass the test" of suffering, there's nothing quite like knowing you submitted to God and overcame the obstacles of your heart & mind! You also grow in endurance, steadfastness, & patience. No one "wins or loses" here on earth. We're all still running the race--which we must finish. I don't see anything in this passage that leads me to believe we're competing with one another. The winning is in completing what God sent us to do.

6. Ask and keep on asking!! God wants us to ask. He promises to be near to us in our difficulties. He tell us to remind Him of His promises.

7. Allow God to be glorified in your life. Walk by faith. Submit to Him. Trust Him. The victory is in glorifying Him.

8. And remember...God is more powerful. He's more powerful than your circumstances, than your enemies, than Satan himself. And great and abundant is his stability and faithfulness.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...

1 comment:

amy wright said...

You #2 makes me think of the bishop from Rwanda who came to speak to our church. He lost his entire family, job, home...during the genocide. But he talked about how, during that time, he only glanced at his problems but gazed at Jesus. He knew the problems were there, but he knew Jesus was greater.