Three people face knee replacement surgery. One person endures renewed arthritis pain and another rushed his 101-year-old mother to the emergency room. Another passed away, and a difficult marriage is confronting yet one more. All of this happened among my circle of friends this past week. You may be encountering similar, or even worse, and it’s enough to make us cry out to God, “Is there any good anywhere?” Yet we are asked to rejoice.
“Consider it joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,” James 1:2, and Paul says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake . . .” Colossians 1:24.
As Christians, what do we do?
We can remember God intimately knows our suffering.
“The Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry . . . for I am aware of their sufferings,’” Exodus 3:7.
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear . . .” Luke 12:7a.
“we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed . . .” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 10b.
Remember God safely secures us through our suffering.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” Romans 8:18.
“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ,” 1 Corinthians 1:5.
Remember God uses our suffering for good.
“(He) comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God,” 2 Corinthians 1:4.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28.
Therefore, be encouraged for God answers our prayers in suffering. He knows what we face today and will face tomorrow.
“. . . For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my supplication, The Lord receives my prayer,” Psalm 6:8-9.
Blessings of confident reliance on God! Prayer requests?
“Dear Lord, help us cast all anxiety on You, because You care (1 Peter 5:7). Thank you, Amen.”
Marching through Life’s Mess Guided by the Master’s Hand, PJ COPYRIGHT ©2015 PJ Gover