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Suffering

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And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17)

Pain and suffering are inevitable. As long as we are alive on this earth we will encounter pain. Most people do not like suffering nor do we like pain. There are some that inflict pain because their wounds are so deep they have become numb to the pain and desire to feel again. For others the pain is so intense they cannot find their way to solitude.

More often than not we avoid the things we don’t understand. We run from them or cover them up with a band aid, praying they will never resurface again. Finding a place of refuge and healing is vital to our survival. We will each develop our own coping skills to help us deal with the pain. Many have been taught or have developed ineffective coping skills. These ways of coping lead them down the road of addictions to food, drugs, illicit physical activity, alcohol, abusive relationships, isolation and anxious behaviors, just to name a few.

God robed Himself in flesh so He could identify with our humanity. In our deepest pain, we should cry out to the One who not only desires to help us, but also the One who is also able to bring about the changes in us that might not happen any other way. In this process, we learn that we cannot take responsibility for another, for they must choose for themselves. We can give them the information they need to make an educated choice but in the end it is up to them to choose. We can only take responsibility for how we ourselves respond.

Most of our pain comes from relationships with others as does our greatest joy. Through these “relationship hurts”, God is able to give us a glimpse of His heart and teach us about ourselves and the roots that are buried deep within that need His attention. Through Spirit and Truth we are opened up and God’s healing begins to surface. He goes deep down in those places that no one else can see. What God sees is much deeper and He goes to the root of our pain. What others see is the effects or manifestations of that pain.

It is in those deep places God can bring about change that would not happen any other way.

BY LINDA BROWN

“In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:22)

Job had everything he could ever want. Life was good. He had a wife, children, cattle, servants, wealth, friends and health. Job loved God and God loved him.  But, in a matter of a short time, Job lost his children, cattle, most of his servants, wealth, friends and even his health. Job could have blamed God for all that he was going through, yet he did not turn his back on God. All he said was, “…the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

There will be times in our lives that difficult things will happen to us. It is during those times that we should remember that God often allows these things to happen to see how we will react. Yes, Job had times where he wished that he had never been born. But, even after losing everything that he had, he just kept praising God.

Remember that suffering will only last for a season.  If we stay faithful to God, He will stay faithful to us. Job might have lost everything thing, but at the end of the suffering, God blessed him with more than he had in the beginning. If we stay faithful to God, our latter will be greater than our former.

 

Prayer:  Dear God, help me to remember that no matter what I go through in this life, You are always in control. Help me remember that no matter what I lose along the way, You’re working it for my good. No matter the situation, I will praise You because You are still a Great God. I know if I stay faithful to You through my trial, You will be faithful with Your blessings in the end. Amen!

BY MISHELLE NALLY

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible).

New babies often bring questions like, “Who do they look like?” and “Where did that red hair come from? I’m here to remind you that the world can tell if we resemble our Heavenly Father. The crucible of suffering has a way of showing our real identity. Your reaction to what comes your way revels who you really are and whether or not you look like Jesus. Do you resemble Him at all?

Prayer: Lord, I want the world to recognize who my Father is. I want more of You in my life so that I reflect Your image.