I’m dealing with health issues. I could use your prayers. This post comes from my quiet time two days ago.
God’s People Suffer
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 1when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.I Corinthians 4:11-14 (NIV)
I hate suffering.
When I was in my thirties I wanted to conquer the world and so with whole-hearted ignorance, prayed the request of my hero Caleb, “Lord, give me the high mountains. Let me destroy giants in your name and for your glory.” Ignorance is sometimes bliss.
I didn’t count on one of those giants being my husband’s fight and death with cancer. So for the first couple of years after his death my thoughts changed to, “God’s in charge. He saw how hard I tried to glorify him. I think I did a pretty good job. So, I think I’ve done my bit. Now it’s my turn to rest and relax You know…retire!” (I didn’t see a problem with that?)
God only let me think that so long before he and I had some father/daughter conversations.
Over the last year, my husband and I have faced some pretty difficult circumstances . After going all out for Christ through several major life changes for ministry. At first I was full of zeal and excitement, willing to face whatever difficulties such changes would bring. However, as month after month of unexpected difficulties barraged us, my zeal soured. Last fall, God and I had further father/daughter conversations, and I realized how ugly I’d become.
Similar difficulties this year have led to recent father/daughter conversations along the same topic. Daddy figures I still have a lot of growing to do.
Scriptures like the one above remind me that my spiritual forefathers were willing to joyfully suffer for the sake of the gospel. Through books and YouTube I’m being challenged by modern day believers are eager to do the same. That convicted me!
In being reminded that God calls all of Jesus’ followers to suffer, I’ve come to see that I love my ease and safety more than I do God. And I fear suffering more than I fear God.”
What Am I to Do?
With that revelation, I knew I needed to repent.
Now I’m trying to walk it out in the power of God’s Spirit by focusing on the goal rather than the issue.
One of my life’s verses is:
Philippians 3:10 (NASB)
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [athe fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
Until recently I didn’t understand the “fellowship of his sufferings” part. I’m learning that to know Christ I must participate with him (and he with me) in suffering. I can only do this victoriously by the strength that comes through the power of his resurrection. He grants me the ability to grow into the best life God created me to experience.
Are you in the same place and could use some support? We can pray for each other. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.