thoughts on suffering

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Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering but in being weary of joy.  G. K. Chesterton

 When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) “toward the goal of true maturity” (Rom 12:2).   E. Elliott

When you and I hurt deeply, what we really need is not an explanation from God but a revelation of God. We need to see how great God is; we need to recover our lost perspective on life., Things get out of proportion when we are suffering, and it takes a vision of something bigger than ourselves to get life’s dimensions adjusted again.  W. Wiersbe 

The “Why?” becomes unimportant when we believe that God can and will redeem the pain for our good and his glory…. When I put the sovereignty of God beside his unfailing love, my heart can rest.  Verdell Davis

 

Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.  E. Elliott

 

In a way I wish I could take to heaven my old, tattered Everest and Jennings wheelchair. I would point to the empty seat and say, “Lord, for decades I was paralyzed in this chair. But it showed me how paralyzed You must have felt to be nailed to Your Cross. My limitations taught me something about the limitations You endured when You laid aside your robes of state and put on the indignity of human flesh.” At that point, with my strong and glorified body, I might sit in it, rub the armrests with my hands, look up at Jesus, and add, “The weaker I felt in this chair, the harder I leaned on You. And the harder I leaned, the more I discovered how strong You are. Thank you, Jesus for learning obedience in your suffering…You gave me grace to learn obedience in mine.” Joni Eareckson Tada

 So many times we say that we can’t serve God because we aren’t whatever is needed. We’re not talented enough or smart enough or whatever. But if you are in covenant with Jesus Christ, He is responsible for covering your weaknesses, for being your strength. He will give you His abilities for your disabilities!  Kay Arthur

 

Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God. Robert Schuller

 The fact that disabled people hang in there does something for Christians. It’s not about being an inspiration for others, it more than that…. it’s a mystery. God somehow strengthens others by their faithfulness. They may feel like a burden to others, but God thinks the opposite. He thinks its necessary for others to take care of the disabled… they do more for one’s spiritual well being than can be imagined. What’s more is that it’s all being credited to the disabled person’s account, per Phillipians 1:25-26.  Joni Eareckson Tada

 

 Let your mind be renewed by this: God cannot lie.  God is love…. “The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.”  Do you know why the Bible tells us things like that?  its because we’re tempted to think that it hasn’t endured… that it doesn’t reach me in 2009 in this situation.  So God keeps speaking to us and telling us “no! it does!  it endures forever. It lasts forever.  It is for you…  God gave up His own Son to death to save you from sin.  And He points to that to show you how deeply he cares for you. 

 

He asks you to measure His faithfulness and His love by the cross.  If He would do that for me, how much more will he meet me when I’m growing weary in my sickness, when I’m wishing I had that relationship, when I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  How much more is God going to care for me.  God’s Word tells us that His arm is not too short to save.  He is able to meet us in any circumstance… Look back on your life.  Not ONE of God’s promises has failed.  That doesn’t mean you haven’t faced disappointment.  But look back.  All of God’s promises to be with you and to be faithful… not one has failed.  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Not a partial trust. 

 

SO here’s the idea I want you to think about … this kind of leaning (lean not on your own understanding) leaves us vulnerable.  If this thing I’m leaning on were to go away I would fall flat on my face.  And that leaves me off balance…  this is a little scary. I’m trusting in something else.  Leaning on the Lord leaves us off balance and we don’t like to feel off balance.  A lot of us spend our entire Christian lives running away from the feeling of being off balance.  That feeling of being vulnerable… of being held up by God…  this is exactly where God created us to live…and that is exactly where we are the most secure than we’ve ever been.”  Exceprt by Joshua Harris from sermon at CovLife on 8/9/09: Total Trust.

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2 responses »

  1. i’m so glad it was helpful John. How’s your wife doing? I’ve been praying for her. And also that God will give direction as far as what church you’re supposed to end up in. Hope you’re doing well.

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