Today we have a thoughtful guest post from my beloved sister Gabriella. Her wise and sweet words on suffering, and the wealth of quotes, will encourage your heart!
“God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves.” Steve Estes
“Make me like Job, God,” I prayed several months ago. Well, so far, God has taken away many things: my home, my health, my dreams, my plans, almost everything I own.
Why would I pray a crazy prayer like that?
I really admire Job. Job blessed the Lord even in his loss, suffering, and pain. Even when everything and everyone that he loved was taken away. He did not curse God and die.
He remained steadfast. He was upright and blameless before God.
He proved Satan wrong and brought God glory!
I want to be like that.
I think our idea of suffering is upside down. From our perspective it is awful.
But suffering is good.
Suffering is good?
Why does that sound wrong? Suffering is good!
I want to see from God’s perspective. Don’t you?
Many people run from pain and suffering. Most would rather live without it. It is human nature to repel suffering. We believe the worst thing that can happen to us is for awful things to happen to us. From our perspective it is unfair, but from God’s perspective suffering is the season in which we are most dependent on Him. Suffering is a training ground, a season of intense sanctification. It is a time that God sets apart for His use. When we are weak, God’s strength is the only thing showing and He gets the glory!
A strange sense of peace and rest comes over me in the times when I am weak and in pain. It is the peace that passes all understanding, coming from the Lord himself. When things are so chaotic that peace seems out of the question, or when mind blowing pain wakes you up at night, peace and grace are given. And when things are taken away? God is knocking the spiritual crutches out from under our arms and saying “Do you trust me? Lean not on your own understanding. I am here, lean on Me.”
Joni Eareckson Tada says, “To know that Christ’s grace is available-it won’t take away the pain, but it will give you the courage to face it.” and “Dependence on Christ is the only way to salvation. Embracing our weakness leads us to Him.” and “Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God’s strength in you.”
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: For thou, Lord hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10
“How can the suffering Christian bring joy to Him who dwells in the glory of highest heaven, above the seraphim? Simply, there is in meek and even joyful acceptance of pain and sorrow so exquisite a spirit manifested, that He who delights in our highest beauty of character is glad with an intense gladness…He is gladdened by one soul that with singleness of purpose counts no suffering too great to serve Him, and is glad to be crushed and poured forth for His dear sake. It speaks a love for Him who loves each one of us more deeply and personally than we ever realize.” Homera Dixon-Homer
I hope Gabriella’s words blessed you today. What do you think? How can something that seems so awful be “good?” Does God redeem our sorrows?