Tag Archives: suffering

“A little more suffering, please.”

Has anyone said this?

From the beginning of our lives, pain and suffering is something we want to avoid.

Physical pain helps us to know when we are endangering ourselves or something is wrong.

Physical pain is beneficial, because our physical bodies need to be protected from harm and pain can be a warning.

That’s why a parent teaches their child not to touch something “hot”, not to eat or drink something “yucky”.

It’s a safety issue.

So, purposefully guarding our bodies from harmful substances and activities is wise, it honors the One who gave it to us.

Yet, the spirit is a different matter, completely.

James 1:2-4 NKJV — My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

It’s not comfortable or fun to “fall into various trials”.

Actually, the average American person spends a good deal of their adulthood trying to avoid trials.

Scripture makes it clear God uses trials.

He works on our character by walking us through tribulations.

Romans 5:3 KJV — And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Trials are not something a we have to look hard to find.

As Christ followers, we should expect them.

John 15:18 NKJV — “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jesus’s life is our example and that includes suffering.

He suffered to an extent no human can comprehend.

God became man, to allow His own creation to accuse Him of being Himself, beat Him and crucify Him.

He came, choosing the greatest suffering, that mankind might be saved from eternal suffering, the consequence we chose when sin contaminated our race.

With this gift of salvation from Jesus Christ, we get another choice, that of following Him.

It’s the best kind of suffering.

To live in the world and yet not to be of the world.

To walk daily, choosing to allow God and His Word to work in us, continually shaping our hearts.

Letting patience have it’s perfect work that we might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV — For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for salvation and Your example to us in all things. Lord, please continue to hone our hearts and to guide our steps. Lord, help our mouths to be full of Your praise, our eyes fixed upon Your Word, our hearts tender, and our minds focused upon You. Lord, it goes against our earliest emotions to be willing to die to ourselves, but it’s the only way we can live unto You. Lord, please help us to better understand how to rejoice when we fall into trials and how to walk with You in patience. Thank You for Your Word, Your truth, and Your faithfulness. I love You, Jesus. Amen

Pain

Matthew 26:48 NKJV — Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”

When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
Matthew 27:29‭-‬31 NKJV

Mark 15:15 NKJV — So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Just three portions of scripture, but they contain such incredible pain.

He was betrayed for money by one of his closest friends.

Jesus was beaten after being questioned by the religious leaders. Luke 22:64

He was scourged and beaten by the Roman guards.

He was hanged on a tree and yet had done nothing wrong.

Jesus knew pain and suffering.

And incredible as it is, the truth is He chose it to save mankind.

Thus pain and suffering was the short term cost, but the long term gain was life eternal.

For those who are called by His name, let us take heart when dealing with pain and suffering.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to  be  compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 NKJV

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Pain and suffering are part of this life and Jesus experienced an enormous measure.

But the hope we have in heaven is sweeter by this understanding of the cost to Christ.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalms 34:19 NKJV

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and  be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:3‭-‬4 NKJV

Dear Reader, whatever pain, suffering, or fear you may be walking in or struggling with this day, I pray you realize this world is not the end and for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ there is a marvelous hope, heaven and eternal life.

Pain is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for being our payment for sin and death. Lord, thank You for suffering and experiencing pain to save us. Lord, please continue to help each one of us to look to You in all things. To realize nothing is beyond Your touch if we will simply surrender it to You. Lord, no matter the future, or the ways of this world, thank You for being our rock, our shelter, our provision. You alone are worthy of praise. You alone are the One Who saves. You alone are the security for both this life and eternity. Thank You. Amen.

Because life isn’t easy

I need to cling to God’s Word every day.

Because life isn’t easy,

I must be careful what I allow myself to meditate on.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have to continually give up my own plans, desires, and agenda.

Because life isn’t easy,

I find opportunities to die to my selfishness continually.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have a choice: self-pity or Savior.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can expect opposition and see it as opportunities.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can feel for the broken, hurting, and lost.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can relate to pain and suffering, but I don’t have to be defined by it.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can walk in today, expecting God to use those things which were meant for harm to be turned into good.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can rest in knowing it wasn’t easy for my Lord when He walked this Earth and I know He understands suffering.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God even more when things are good, joyful, and beautiful.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can yearn for Heaven with the sojourner, taking a long journey home.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God for salvation.

Because life isn’t easy,

I value blessings all the more.

Life isn’t easy now.

It wasn’t easy before.

It won’t be easy while the battle between righteousness and sin continues.

But some day, Jesus will return.

And it’s easy to get excited about that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for choosing to do what wasn’t comfortable or easy. Thank You for dieing on the cross. Thank You for living as the Father called You to live, although no one understood You. Thank You for walking daily with me, holding me, sustaining me, teaching me, although I don’t deserve it. Thank You for showing me that it is through the everyday things You are able. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful in all things, forgiving, loving, and resting in You in all things. Thank You. Amen.

Reading to enrich

It was given to me by a friend.

I’m also positive it was a gift from the Lord.

I have every intention of reading it again.

Possibly, many times.

The depth with which the Lord spoke through the pages are still without my ability to articulate.

To be honest,

I don’t even want to try.

I don’t want to rush through what the Lord has for me.

Some books are like that.

Nothing compares to scripture nor the vibrance of God’s Word.

Yet, He can speak clearly through the lives of others and that is what He has done with this book.

Reading it has brought back a feeling I had with a little book titled “If” by Amy Carmichael.

I don’t currently have a copy, as I’ve given every one I’ve owned away.

But the balm to my soul,

the mirror into my heart,

and the call to step closer,

were held within it’s slim paperback.

This book too, has all those qualities.

These women of faith bring me such inspiration.

Elizabeth Elliot

Amy Carmichael

Corrie Ten Boom

God has used these ladies and has spoken so clearly through their lives into mine.

And what speaks most?

Their love and devotion to Jesus while experiencing suffering.

Yes, their lives are full to over-flowing with stories of blessings.

But my heart has resonated with their lives during the dark and difficult days I’ve read or listened to.

Those when they clung to Jesus with all they had, because He was all they had.

The epilogue ended with truth.

“Through the hard circumstances of the last years of her life, the Lord had shown me a paradox: The deepest fellowship with Him lies in not resisting when suffering comes our way, but in going through it resolutely with Him.” Pamela Rosewell, The Five Silent Years of Corrie Ten Boom

It’s so true.

No matter the circumstances, God can and will use it in your life, if you choose to rest in Him rather than wrestle, resist, or run.

A rough week

Picture by N.K.

Photographs of things from the U.K. encourage me.

They remind me no matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult the work, things built by God are both beautiful and enduring.

It is in the middle of the work, when I can lose sight of this.

Before my sweet husband was called into the mill this morning, we were discussing our week previous and the one we are beginning.

His schedule for this week is rough.

My health from last week was rough.

We came to two conclusions.

First, there is always something to be thankful and praise God for. Always.

Second, our own suffering should be an opportunity to remember and pray for others.

My husband even brought the name of someone I could pray for every time I suffer from a specific ailment.

I completely agreed.

What better way to live through pain than in thankfulness and as an opportunity to up hold others?

Didn’t Jesus do even more?

Since Christ is our example in all things we look forward to our busy schedule with peace.

Life isn’t always comfortable.

Life isn’t always easy.

But it can always be a joy.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:3‭-‬5 NKJV