Giving thanks for our newest grand-dog. Samson is an English bulldog!November 18
Give thanks in suffering? Are you kidding me? That goes so beyond human nature. Wait, but Jesus is way beyond human nature! And that's a big reason to give thanks!
"It's hard to be thankful while your world is crashing down. The ending of a joy, the illness of a loved one, the loss of something you never dreamed you'd lose-so many circumstances in life take our breath away...No one wants to suffer, yet we all experience it at some point in our lives. And when we do, there is no shortage of advice on how we should handle it....Shouldn't we be ashamed that our prayers were not answered? Should we be embarrassed that we believe in a God who, to someone on the outside looking in, seems to have ignored us?...the Gospel never has made sense on paper, has it?
Isaiah 53:3 calls Jesus himself a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief...he did not allow grief to define His life. His life on earth was defined by love...Jesus who died for us in love and rose again in love, so that all that is broken can be redeemed, so that in the midst of terrible pain we can know this isn't all there is." She Reads Truth
We are going to suffer on this training ground called earth. The essence of our problem with the suffering issue, lies within our difficulty to realize there is more than this life. There are two passages, from The Message, ready to remind us there is more to come and suffering is part of our preparation for the future.
"Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner." 1 Peter 4:12-13
"There's more to come: We continue to shout out praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary-we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!"
Father, you are a God of purpose. You are a God who has plans for a prosperous future, an unimaginable eternity, for us. Forgive us for growing anxious in difficulty. You certainly faced adversity walking upon this earth. Help us to look at our trials as sandpaper having purpose and smoothing out the rough surfaces of our lives. Even in our troubles may we have confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit in us to persevere and never feel short changed, because we know the character of God. We can erupt in shouts of praise in the midst of our problems and stay expectantly alert for what God is about to do, because we have seen his faithfulness time and time again.
In Jesus Name, Amen