Troubles, trials, and tragedies have directly


 impacted us all, and no one is immune to 


the harsh realities of life or suffering.


Are you suffering on your road to 


redemption and love?

There will be times when we will be misread,


misquoted, and victimized as a result of our beliefs.


According to Scripture...


testing, trial, suffering, and chastening are God's 


way of purifying, cleansing, and conforming us 


to the image of His Son, Jesus.

 


When insulted for the Name of Christ... we can 


consider ourselves blessed. Those who live a godly 


life in Christ will be persecuted... so don’t think 


it’s strange and it’s unique to you alone.

Suffering Encourages Humility

God, in His grace, generally allows severe storms


 and deep distress to teach us important lessons


 about His grace. As we cry out to God for 


assistance and strength, we discover that God's 


grace is more than sufficient to meet our needs.



God is our utmost Supporter; He is our 


Merciful Provider, our Rock, and our Comforter.


 God understands that His power is made perfect


 in our weakness. He understands that His grace


 is more than sufficient for our needs in our 


helplessness, because His strength is perfected


 in our insufficiency.

Spiritual traditions from all over the world 


emphasize that, while life can be difficult, 


God is at work, using our circumstances to


 humble us and shape us into the people He 


wants us to be. 



"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks 


to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: 


it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world," 


C.S. Lewis once said.

Why are the innocent victimized?


Why must there be heartache and disappointment?


 Why do the wicked prosper, while the righteous 


take such a beating?

Innocent suffering is the same


 as the suffering of Jesus.


What does it mean, then, to 


"Share in His sufferings"?


To suffer with Jesus means to face persecution, 


opposition, and hardship.

When we are in pain, we can feel completely


 alone. We feel helpless and ineffective. When 


we most need God, we may believe that He is 


not present.



One might be curious to know how a just God


could allow such things to happen.


How does God, who loves us so much, allow


 suffering to enter our homes?



We may feel that God is unfair and harsh at times, 


but He is a God of Love who allows things in our


 lives that are temporarily very painful in order for 


His eternal purposes to be worked out.


Followers of Jesus are called to some level


 of suffering. We share in His sufferings in


 order that we may also share in His glory. 


Romans 8:16-17

Sadness is a part of our journey.


As Believers, it is inevitable that at some point 


we will encounter trials. No one in the entire 


world is immune to the various types of pain 


and suffering that can befall us in this life.

God will sometimes use a certain amount of pain


 and suffering to shape, mold, and transform us.


We should trust God to take care of us because


 God was able to bring about such a glorious


 outcome from Jesus' suffering.


We are all troubled by our inner thoughts


 and emotions. 

  How are we to respond to suffering?


  What do we do, and how do we respond 


when suffering strikes our family?


Is there any way we can "Learn" what to 


do about suffering?


 How can we help those who are suffering?


Is there purpose in pain?


Is there any escape?


Where is God in all of this suffering? 


Will there ever be a way out of this confusion?


Where and when can we see the fulfillment 


of our heart's desire?


Are we doomed to just suffer, and live as 


"Sufferers?"


These are questions that countless individuals  


have wrestled with... and tried to figure out.

Acts 5:41 says that after the apostles were 


flogged for preaching the Good News about


 Jesus, "the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing


 because they had been counted worthy of 


suffering disgrace for the Name." They were


 being identified with their Savior; they were 


being treated in the same manner as Jesus;


 they were sharing in His suffering!



So, when people hate us because we are


 identified with Jesus, when they attack and 


persecute us because we bear His Name, when


 we lose our jobs, families, freedom, or even 


our lives for the sake of the gospel, we are 


sharing in the Lord's sufferings. We are called 


to this, and we should jump for joy! “We must


 go through many hardships to enter the 


kingdom of God,” Paul explained.


Acts 14:22

Taking up our cross daily 



leads to transformation. 


Life can leave us feeling outraged, abandoned, 

dismissed, unappreciated, or just downright broken. 

Our spirits may feel defeated, and we may seriously

question when will the suffering come to an end?

Suffering is part of our experience on earth. 


The human experience is varied and diverse, but 


few things are as inescapable as suffering. The 


pains and difficulties will differ from person to 


person, but we all suffer.


When everything we know is stripped away from


us and we are forced to be alone, we wonder what


 truly matters. What is the point of living in the first


 place? 



There is a purpose in the pain.


Suffering can be one of the ways 


God works with us for our own 


growth and to bring us to a better


understanding of Himself. 

When people's private resources are depleted, 


they are willing to turn to the "Ultimate Resource"


 - God.

Perhaps this is the time to 


turn to God.

Suffering in life can be a powerful jolt that helps 


us become more discerning and progressive.


It directs our attention inward, forcing us to 


confront aspects of ourselves that we might


 otherwise avoid. God can then use our 


suffering to shape us into better people, 


people who can love and enjoy Him 


forever.


Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4


In 1 Peter 4:12-16, persecution and hardship 

for the sake of the gospel are linked directly to

 sharing in Jesus' sufferings: 

"Dear friends, do not be surprised by your 

painful trial, as if something strange were

 happening to you. But rejoice that you share

 in Christ's sufferings, so that you can rejoice 

when his glory is revealed. 


If you are insulted because of the name of Christ,

 consider yourself blessed because the Spirit of 

God rests on you. If you are going to suffer, it

 should not be as a murderer, thief, or other 

type of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, 

if you suffer as a Believer, do not be ashamed, 

but rather thank God for your endurance.

God desires to heal us and bring us


out of our state of brokenness.

With God in the forefront, 


we will get through this.


 Suffering prepares us to feel empathy, 


emotionally connect, comfort those 


in pain, understand and share another 


person's hardships.



Those who can genuinely say, 


"Suffering has redeeming value," 


discovers one of the most heartwarming


reasons that suffering has redeeming 


value... empathy. 



Empathy is the fruit of suffering. Empathetic 


concern focuses on easing the suffering of others. 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share 

another person's sufferings. It is experienced by 

those who can sincerely say, 


"I understand how you feel.


I've been in your shoes."

Suffering "makes room for learning and love.


Suffering serves to humble us and awaken 


us from our self-sufficiency illusion.

There may be times on our journey when we 


feel we can't go any further, but God wants us 


to know that His strength is made perfect 


in our weakness.

May we boldly place our hardships at God's feet,


knowing that God's grace and strength are made 


perfect in our weakness. 

This happened during Jesus' life on earth. He was


heard because of His reverent submission.

That is what it takes to faithfully take up our cross


 daily! We have to cry out to God for the strength to 


hold out – for the strength to say “No” and keep


 saying “No” in the time of temptation. We must


 humble ourselves and have the same mind that 


Jesus had: 


“Not My will, but Yours, be done.”


God uses even the most painful 


suffering for good.

Let us always remember and never forget: 


The Cross precedes the 



Crown.

We believe many of the richest, fullest, and 


most fruitful lives are those who have been 


developed in the Divine crucible of testing 


and tribulation. The severe testing either breaks 


or purifies one, which is reason enough to 


rejoice and count it all joy... 


even as we weep.

According to James, "My brothers and sisters, 


take heart when you fall into various temptations,


 knowing that the testing of our faith produces


 patience.


But let patience do her perfect work, so that 


we will be perfect and complete, 


wanting nothing." "


James 1:2-4



When we face trials and challenges, James advises


 us to be perfectly content. The testing of our faith


 leads to patience, and when we allow patience to


 run its full course, it will lead us to strength of 


character and refinement.



God's intention is for God's glory... and for 


God's works to be revealed.


A person's integrity allows 


them to persevere.


Integrity implies that we do not compromise 


and thus do not give up. Integrity is not 


something that develops overnight, but rather


 through repeated tests. God sends trials to purge 


us of sin and allow us to grow and mature in 


integrity.



When human support or material assistance 


of any kind is removed, that is when God's 


power can become active.

We believe that the entire universe is God's garden,


 and that God wants His garden to grow, mature,


and produce.


We believe the Master Gardener prunes every 


branch in us, whether it's a person, place, or 


thing that doesn't bear fruit... or stifles our growth 


in Him.

God will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous 


blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of 


despair. In their righteousness, they will be called great 


oaks that God has planted for His own Glory.


Isaiah 61:3

Surviving hardship can teach us valuable lessons


 about ourselves and the world around us, 


strengthen our resolve, deepen our empathy,


 and eventually allow us to evolve and grow as


 human beings.



Suffering's transformative effect suggests that


 it is our greatest pain that may contain a deeper 


purpose. Perhaps the function of human 


compassion serves that purpose.



To summarize, regardless of why we suffer, it is


 clear that love is the cure for suffering, and that 


all suffering, after many detours, eventually leads 


to love and God's glory being revealed in that 


situation.

There will never be a void

that God cannot fill.

 carolecgood@aol.com

                                                                                                                                      

  www.carolecgood.com

 

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Awesome!!  We complain about the cross we bear but don't  realize 
it is preparing us for the dip in  the road that God can see and we  can't.
 

Whatever your cross, whatever your  pain,
 
there will always be sunshine, after  the rain....
 

Perhaps you may stumble,  perhaps even fall;
 
But God's always ready, to  answer your call....
 

He knows every  heartache, sees every tear,
 
a word from His  lips, can calm every fear...
 

Your sorrows  may linger, throughout the night,
 
But  suddenly vanish, dawn's early  light...
 

The Savior is waiting, somewhere  above,
 
to give you His grace, and send you  His love...
 
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cid:CA582C70EF8244E5828BC29014BDBAD6@MariaLandmanPC

cid:56F84932F9264450BA960D888D28665A@MariaLandmanPC

cid:82398AEEA18848528D770C28DB44E81B@MariaLandmanPC

cid:410ACB46A1184D79A6DB1954A71AE2B3@MariaLandmanPC

cid:CFEFB62EC8A0414895C1D44D768479B2@MariaLandmanPC

cid:D6D026063E224499A9E699D1979F2B8C@MariaLandmanPC

cid:49CF84F8351B44809109A3844D84B8D7@MariaLandmanPC

cid:52AF18CA149546D79BB4BD2EDE54592C@MariaLandmanPC

cid:AECCAEB686DD4DA5825903B558489A0F@MariaLandmanPC

cid:921D7D998638419E87876C51816B090B@MariaLandmanPC

Awesome!!  We complain about the cross we bear but don't  realize 
it is preparing us for the dip in  the road that God can see and we  can't.
 

Whatever your cross, whatever your  pain,
 
there will always be sunshine, after  the rain....
 

Perhaps you may stumble,  perhaps even fall;
 
But God's always ready, to  answer your call....
 

He knows every  heartache, sees every tear,
 
a word from His  lips, can calm every fear...
 

Your sorrows  may linger, throughout the night,
 
But  suddenly vanish, dawn's early  light...
 

The Savior is waiting, somewhere  above,
 
to give you His grace, and send you  His love...
 
the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2.the ability or strength to continue or last, esp. despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; 
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