“If we love God and love others in Him, we will be glad to let suffering destroy anything in us that God is pleased to let it destroy, because we know that all it destroys is unimportant. We will prefer to let the accidental trash of life be consumed by suffering in order that His glory may come out clean in everything we do.” Thomas Merton
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort – we get a full measure of that, too. When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. 2 Corinthians 1:4-6 msg.
It may seem odd for me to post about suffering while on vacation in ‘paradise!’ Yes, there’s no doubt, I’m so blessed for this time of rest & recreation with my family – I love it (and need it). But, for some time now, I’ve been going through a mental & spiritual struggle that didn’t simply vanish when I changed locations or responsibilities. As some see ‘suffering,’ my trial is probably small… I’m grateful for the strength of the Holy Spirit and for the trust God has given me to carry a burden. I choose joy in my journey. Quitting is never an option – my faith is secure in Him.
I challenge you to trust God in ALL things — even the trials that He allows. Such suffering only proves our faith and declares to our fallen world that through Christ we can endure and overcome anything that comes against us. Our testimony is not that we don’t face the same tests or trials of the world, but that we are not alone when they come and that we become greater as we go through them. It would be foolish, however, to seek suffering as some badge of honor – instead, we seek Christ in ALL things – confident that He is always with us. In both battles and blessings may His purpose be accomplished.
Thankful for His presence & perspective… Chilly