Sunday, April 20, 2008

In the Suffering


Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~Helen Keller


There are trials for each of us every single day, hitting us in some way or another…
With the economy
With the call from the doctor
With the housing market
With our rebellious teenagers
With our families, marriages, and kids
With the gas prices constantly on the rise
With the temptations from the evil one
With the pressure from the jobs that we have to have

It seems that almost every person I have talked to this week, either in person or in bloggy land, is experiencing some sort of trial or is suffering. It breaks my heart. I want so badly for things to be “right”. I want your health to be perfect, I want your kids to be kind, courteous, and respectful young adults, I want you to live in abundance…but more than I want these things, your Heavenly Father does too.

You see, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized that God was preparing a blessing for me on the other side of the suffering.


James 1:12 (NLT) –God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Does it make it easier to accept the suffering knowing that the blessing awaits on the other side?
The “Patty Perfect Pastor’s Wife” in me wants to say an energetic (fist raised in the air) YES, but the real me…the completely 100% authentic, real, and human me says…yes, but it still stinks to suffer.

But check out what God’s Word says below:

James 1:2 (TM) - Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Did you catch the last two sentences? Let me show them to you again,
So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
You are right where HE wants you to be. It is not an accident, it is not something He doesn’t know about…He’s doing a good work in you THROUGH the suffering.

You know what I love about that, even though I don’t necessarily love the suffering, is that He promises to be there with us. Not just, “I’ll be there”, but it says below that He comes alongside us through it…

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (TM)All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! 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.

Oh, Oh, Oh…did you notice the part about we will be able to come alongside someone else and be there for them just like God was for us. Oh.My.Goodness…isn’t He so amazing?!?!

It takes a real storm in the average person's life to make him realize how much worrying he has done over the squalls.
-Unknown

You see, there is so much to learn while we are in the midst of our suffering. The greatest thing about it is this…HE will raise you up and bring you through it…

1 Peter 5:10 (NLT) - In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

and because He is such a comforter and loving Father…

Psalm 34:6 (NLT) - In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.

Please please please hear me on this…whatever you are dealing with right now is not an accident. You didn’t just have bad stuff happen to you. There is a plan, a reason, and a blessing on the other side. God is there, even in the midst, how can He not be. He is the Beginning, the End, the Alpha, the Omega, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, He is, was, and forever will be the GREAT I AM!

So seek Him through it, pray to Him, and be ready for the blessing.

Psalm 71:20 (NIV) - Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

Praising Him in the Suffering,

18 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Vicki 8:07 AM  

Thank you for the many wonderful words of LIFE you've shared. So many truths! I needed your reminders this morning and I will keep them in my heart as the day and week go on ....

Blessings to you!

Cheri 9:23 AM  

Perfect timing for this post- thanks!

Deb 10:07 AM  

Mel, you always have the right word at the right time, Thanks
Deb

Denise 4:38 PM  

Thanks for speaking to my heart, bless you.

Tasha 4:42 PM  

Wow, thank you!!!

Sandy 6:22 PM  

Hi Mel
Fabulous post!
Held my drawing today after church and guess what? Well, you'll just have to come on over and see!
Have a wonderfully blessed week.
Sandy

Outnumbered 4 to 1 6:25 PM  

What a blessing! My sister in law introduced me to your page and I will have to thank her so much. You spoke deep into my soul today and reminded me that I am not alone! Thanks for the reminder and I look forwarded to continueing to read your blog!

Kim 10:28 PM  

Your blog is so uplifting and encouraging, I really needed to hear those words right now

MamaGeek 10:50 PM  

What powerful, passionate words!

A Stone Gatherer 9:03 AM  

So True! All of the things we have gone through with our son has not only grown us closer to Christ, but we are able to encourage and sympathize with others in the same boat! God is good!

Suzie M. 9:38 AM  

Melissa, I love the comment about it taking a storm to sometimes realize we've been worrying about squalls. I am now living in that freedom of being past the storm and everything else seeming like small potatoes. I'm glad now to have a quote for how I feel. See you soon.

annie 3:36 PM  

That's what I'm leaning on.

Linda 5:28 PM  

What a great post. For me, there is so much learning and growing that takes place during the suffering that I actually find myself thankful for the season. Though I would be quick to admit I don't want to go back.
Blessings,
Linda

Just Mom 7:14 PM  

Love it!

-:-Chanin-:- 9:41 PM  

I loved this:

"Please please please hear me on this…whatever you are dealing with right now is not an accident. You didn’t just have bad stuff happen to you. There is a plan, a reason, and a blessing on the other side. God is there, even in the midst, how can He not be. He is the Beginning, the End, the Alpha, the Omega, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, He is, was, and forever will be the GREAT I AM!"

In Him, Chanin

Ally 1:49 AM  

Hey there Mel,

I am glad I dropped by to read this! As you know, I have been going through alot and it´s great to see how the Lord not only brings things to the surface but also there is a hunger and thirst after him that had somehow been lost. But what really struck me in your post was the way God comes along side...and then others. It´s so true. God has come along side me in a way I could never even have imagined.
thanks for sharing... drop by and visit me too!

Ally 2:04 AM  

Hey Mel,

When I passed by a while ago you had a post about those moments before the kids leave for school and you had written a prayer that you pray with them and Iw anted to copy that and use i too and was wondering if you could send it to me? www.allybarn@hotmail.com Thanks!

BunnyGirl 4:13 PM  

Well now I know this just isn't coincidence. This theme in your post has come at me from all sides. The thing of walking through something that breaks the heart, squashes you inside and makes you want to head for the hills or take a long walk off a short pier!

But there is the knowledge that God is with me in it and, more than that, as I learn from the experience and am comforted, so I will be able to take that comfort and pass it along. I was emailed with this very thought by a friend this week - well along the same lines.
Thanks Mel.
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