What we do with our suffering.
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GiG, today’s devo got me to thinking about how some people are supposedly enjoying “the good life” right now. Turn on your TV, surf the internet and you’ll see people soaking in the comforts and pleasures and are quite satisfied by what this world has to offer. However, many of us FDFJ’s (fully devoted followers of Jesus) are weary of the hardships, injustices, pain, and sorrow of this life. And wish for it not to continue without end. But, on the other hand, we recoil at the thought of life ending permanently. We want to live on, we want relief. Yup, simply put; we want to go to heaven, but don’t want to die.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not depressed, suicidal or lacking hope. However, I do have clients who are all the above. Thankfully, I get to share with them that God reconciles these two opposing desires in an endless life in heaven where there is no more pain, sorrow, crying—an eternal reunion one day with God and loved ones in a paradise where all wrongs are made right and obedience rewarded.
God will reward each of us for what we have done. He will give eternal life to everyone who has patiently done what is good in the hope of receiving glory, honor, and life that lasts forever. Romans 2:6-7 CEV
Here’s a thought to ponder. Will we allow our suffering to make us bitter or better? How we’re dressed for battle will help determine that.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3 NLT
Last week, I shared with a person this fact—pain is a powerful force and it pushes us in one of two directions: greater maturity and wisdom or discouragement and alienation. Truth is, we all want to become better and not bitter. Yet, for that to happen, we’re required to persevere amid our pain.
GiG, here’s a truth we can take out and examine on a rainy day; suffering makes us neither bitter nor better, it’s what we do with our suffering that does. Fact is, we cannot choose the kind of suffering we are going to face in life, but we can choose the direction in which it pushes us. OUCH or Amen! God has given us certain gifts to equip us to deal with the suffering we face.
May we be encouraged to get up daily, suit up for life, and actively choose to do the hard work of making morally right choices amid suffering. That’s a Kingdom Agenda mindset. So let’s persevere beyond our own self-interest with steadfastness and in doing so we’ll get up close and personal with JOY.
God’s Got It…so we can DRAW NEAR—Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise