Thursday, March 10, 2016

There will be suffering in this world....

Do you suffer from fear and anxiety over worldly pain? Over the fear of loss? For what seems like no reason at all? You are not alone- most of us do at some time in our lives, even if we don't share it publicly.

I went through an extremely difficult period in my life prior to giving my life to Jesus. Years and years of difficulty. Pain and anxiety and fear that I would not wish upon anyone for any reason. When I look back on it now, I can't believe I went through that all alone without God by my side.

Um, that's not quite right. I know now that God always walks beside us, but when we don't accept Him, when we don't call on Him and pray to Him and have a relationship with Him, we flounder and can't take full advantage of His power and the grace of the Holy Spirit which strengthens us and protects us from the fire of life. He was there with me, wanting me to call out to Him and willingly be His child. I suffered terribly, much more terribly than I needed to, but I knew about Jesus and chose not to call Him to me. I chose to suffer alone. I didn't believe.

Now that I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and work to be in relationship with Him every single day, I have such a different perspective on suffering. Instead of being angry and defeated by it, I am humbled and girded by Jesus' incredible love for us, demonstrated by His unimaginable sacrifice on the cross. He suffered and died for me so that I could have hope and faith in an eternity where suffering doesn't exist. He came to us as a man, fully man, to experience what we experience and demonstrate through His actions that we can survive even the worst pain and suffering, because not only did HE do it, but by HIS doing it He made a way through the fire for us.

If you are suffering right now and can't see a way out or seem to find any relief from the pain, I ask you- do you believe in God's strength to heal you? Do you believe in His promise that, while life here on earth may be hard and terribly unfair, He has a place for you in His Kingdom where there will be no more suffering and no more pain? Do you really believe? Do you pray, and call out to Him and call on the prayers and love and strength of other Believers to lift you up when you can barely raise your head? I believe that Jesus has an ARMY here on earth. An army being prepared to do His work; to be His hands and feet (and heart and head) until He returns. 

You do not have to walk through this battle alone. Praying to God is incredibly important. Being in relationship with Him where you go to Him with praise and with pain; where you talk to Him about your hopes and your fears; where you pray for others as much as you pray for yourself. All this is important. BUT- when you are stuck in the depths of despair, when you are not sure if you have enough breath left in you to keep you alive much less to pray, when you have been dealt a blow that would crush even the strongest most faithful believer, that's when you call on God's army. It may be me, it may be a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or someone you haven't spoken to in years. It doesn't matter- if you know someone who is a warrior for God- who has publicly proclaimed his or her love for our Almighty Father- call on that person right now to pray for you and WITH you during your time of need. We are Brothers and Sisters in Christ for a reason. God has filled us with His Spirit for just such a time as this.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."   Romans 8:18

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.                              2 Corinthians 1:3-8

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