Suffering – Endurance – Character – Hope – Rejoicing
We cannot survive suffering here in this world without God. There’s a huge difference in the suffering of God’s people and the people who do not follow God. When God’s people suffer, we turn to Him. We give it to God. We lean on the Creator and Sustain-er of the universe. We glean strength, the kind that only God can give from God Himself. This is not to say that Christians do not suffer. We do. We suffer greatly but there is a difference in our suffering. We know deep in our soul that whatever may come it will all end one day. There will be unimaginable peace. This gives us a hope that seems irrational to some. Deep despair will find each one of us as we walk along in this life but it’s not God’s plan for us to remain there. There are times to mourn, to cry, to express our sadness and losses. This is what lamenting is for. The Bible if full of laments. Laments are outpouring of feelings to God, and that’s exactly where these feeling belong, at the feet of God. We can say and express our whole bleeding heart to God. God hears us. God loves us. It’s in these moments of lamenting that we connect with God and we are given the gift of endurance. It’s OK to even pray for endurance, to pray to make it through another day. Holy endurance gives us what we need to carry on without sinning in our hurt and anger and this builds character. We do not need to get revenge. We do not need to turn to addictive substances. We can meet with our community of believers and be supported. Making these right choices builds a Godly character that is seen by others. It’s good for us to share our suffering with others. It’s good to be transparent and show others our struggles, because it’s in these situations that others can see who God is and what it’s like to walk with God. So many things that happen in life pull a curtain over any hope we had. Sometimes only God, the Holy Spirit has the power to open that curtain again and shed light over the darkness that can overcome us. When we are able to see and experience this holy hope, our soul naturally rejoices and expresses gratitude.
Those who are disconnected from God do not know these gifts of endurance, character and hope in the midst of despair. Many blame God for allowing suffering when really suffering comes because we live in this broken world. Our bodies are broken and far from imperfect. Our tendency is to sin. Sin causes more pain and brokenness. We have a promise this broken world will be destroyed. Until then, we press on. There is hope. We’ll make it to our final destination! Sometimes the best goal is to focus on today:
Hear the words of Jesus from Matthew 6:34,
“Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.”
I pray these words encourage you today.