How can we truly mean those words in the midst of suffering or adversity? Is it even possible? YES!!! 😊 (I am screaming out this “yes”) The joy to feel it even when you don’t see it – has a unique beauty of its own.
Suffering is a gift. To share the suffering of Christ. To be broken like he did on the cross. To be taken to the edge of endurance and agony while you still chose to obey and fulfil his promise. It is a blessing. It is the attitude we have towards pain and the perspective of it that will help us rejoice in it and not get through it.
I understand what it is to feel pain, to feel loss, to suffer for what is right. And I can still say this – There is GREAT JOY in pain. I learnt deep compassion through suffering. I learnt humility and kindness in the face of the unknown. I learnt to allow myself to break my heart for what breaks the heart of my father. I learnt my Abba father’s love covers my heart and it is the understanding of that love that puts every trail into a better perspective. I learnt it’s NOT about me, it is something greater than me. And the best of all was I always knew His presence never left me. I am still learning to suffer well.
There’s no place where earthly sorrows Are more felt than up in heaven; There’s no place where earthly failings Have such kindly judgment given.
1 Peter 4:12-14 (Phillips Translation): “And now, dear friends of mine, I beg you not to be unduly alarmed at the fiery ordeals which come to test your faith, as though this were some abnormal experience. You should be glad, because it means you are called to share Christ’s sufferings. One day, when He shows Himself in full splendor to men, you will be filled with the most tremendous joy. If you are reproached for being Christ’s followers, that is a great privilege, for you can be sure that God’s Spirit of glory is resting upon you.”
Corrie ten Boom
Closing her Bible, Corrie proceeded to relate a conversation that took place between she and her father when she was a little girl. “Daddy,” she had said one day, “I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”
“Tell me,” her father wisely responded, “when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
“That is right,” he replied, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr. But as soon as you are called upon for the honor of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.”
Most often, what stops us from growing through adversity is the thought of – Will I get through it? Will I have the strength?
HE WILL SUPPLY THE STRENGTH YOU NEED – JUST IN TIME!
This also applies when we are afraid to step into something. Following the call of your heart. Making decisions in obedience to the word. Our human mind limits the possibility of that happening. What If – I fail What If – I loose what I have What If – ______ (What’s your WHAT IF)
But here’s what we DO know – God uses everything for Good! We cannot comprehend or fathom to understand Gods plan – but we sure have the ability to trust in him, to lean on his understanding and not ours, to be assured in his word – his unchanging everlasting word, the voice of the Holy Spirit.
So. Here’s the big question. How can I suffer well? The first question you could ask yourself during that time is – Where am I focusing on? Is it my suffering or fixing my eyes on things above? Cause both roads will take you to completely different destinations.
Suffering is purposeful. There is a purpose in suffering as well. Jesus could have just taken our sins away and skip the part of suffering for our sins. But he bore the pain, he carried our cross and he died for us. It was because of that – we received salvation, we received grace and access to heaven. Suffering implores us to do the counter-intuitive thing which is to ‘boast in our weakness’ that allows people to see the process and not just the highlights. They see the fire is refining us and not burning us – they see the gold at the end. Suffering stripes away the false sense of all togetherness and self-sufficiency and makes you realize that every breath we take comes from God.
God is able to do his best work within you when you completely depend on Him. And for some, that dependency comes when you realize you need God to help you carry your cross.
I have tasted the holy trinity when I cannot understand the ‘now’ but still believe in my ‘tomorrow’– The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy spirit. It’s the presence of three persons in one – The father’s care, The saviors redeeming love covering all my sins that Satan is throwing at me in that hour and the spirit sustaining and upholding my faith. I couldn’t articulate the complexity of the three – but there is unspeakable joy to experience the sweet presence of three in the hour of suffering.
Why would you not want to suffer. When there is truly nothing to lose. But sooooo much to gain.
Whether I lose or gain – I can always say. “It is well with my soul”. Don’t see life as a moment, but see it as a whole 😊
While Thee I seek, Protecting Power
Be my vain wishes stilled,
And may this consecrated hour
With better hopes be filled.
When gladness wings my favored hour,
Thy love my thoughts shall fill,
Resigned where storms of sorrow lower
My soul shall meet Thy will.
My lifted eye without a tear
The gathering storm shall see
My steadfast heart shall know no fear
My heart will rest on Thee.