It's In Other Words Tuesday. This week our quote was chosen by Kathryn of Expectant Hearts.
I enjoy participating in this meme. My mind is stimulated as I attempt to concisely share my opinion and thoughts on the chosen weekly quote. I love how each participating blogger often has a unique take. It may be from personal experience or just a different viewpoint.
Here's Kathryn's chosen quote:
Suffering; what a timely quote for me in this season of my life. From personal experience, I have to say a resounding YES in agreement with the author of this quote.
I cringe when I hear some well known preachers teach a health, wealth and prosperity message. From my Bible reading, I read something quite different.
As a Christian, there are many blessings I wouldn't trade for anything. I know I am never alone. I know I am loved. I have joy as I abide in Christ. He promises to provide for my needs (not all my wants). I know the end of the story and ...I'm on the winning side.
But in the meantime, the Christian life may include ...suffering.
1 Peter 4:12-13 says:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
As I'm currently in the midst of a trial, I can tell you that I listen to and seek out wisdom from people who have been there too. Although I don't broadcast personal details of my life to all, there've been a few close relationships I've formed with bloggers who have reached out to me. How thankful I am that they are willing to share similiar trials. Yes, we each have different particulars but they understand as they too have suffered.
Some examples that come to my mind are:
- Death of a loved one
- Death of a child
- Financial problems
- Unsaved loved ones
But I've found that people who seem to have an easy life without many trials, can sometimes be quicker to judge. Think of Job's friends. Yes, we should consider whether there's sin in our lives causing the trial. Yes, we should know that choices have consequences. Sometimes we may suffer for something someone esle did. And sometimes suffering comes simply from living in a sin soaked world.
But I also want to say that I don't want to waste my suffering and trials.
- There are important lessons to be learned.
- My character is being built during trials and suffering.
- I learn to draw closer to the Lord as my ultimate source of comfort.
- I want to be open and sensitive to others who are going through suffering.
- I want to learn to focus on who God is; His attributes.
- I want to learn to ...trust and obey even when I don't understand.
- I want to keep my eyes on Jesus and not focused always on the problems themselves.
What have you learned from suffering?
How do you minister to others who are suffering?
Blessings and love,