My friend lost her finger in an accident this week, and her career requires heavy hand usage. My heart aches and my soul grieves and I imagine she wishes for those moments back. I do. I know she trusts God, but it’s hard to understand His whys and what now’s. After all, sorrow and suffering heaped on a faithful servant don’t seem fair. Multiple Bible scholars and theologians (I am neither) have written mountains of material over centuries addressing this, but just a few of my thoughts…
God assures believers of His presence and provides tools of comfort:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me…” Psalm 23:4. “When His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness;” Job 29:33.
I can be His fearless valley-walker.
Believers get to share in Christ’s sufferings:
“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ,” 2 Corinthians 1:5.
His comfort surpasses my sufferings.
Whatever believers endure can expand their sphere of influence and ministry:
“Five times I (the Apostle Paul) received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned (with real rocks!) three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren,” 2 Corinthians 11:24-26.
Wow, but bring it on!
When believers know darkness His light shines brighter:
“In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”John 1:4-5.
The more dreary the day, the greater my appreciation for the sun.
Believers can serve as examples of God’s mercy and patience:
“Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life,” 1 Timothy 1:16.
Just more opportunities to share!
Believers are promised a future with God:
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2.
Jesus is the perfect architect and designer.
“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13.
With a new body and mind!
Where do your sufferings take you? How will you share in the suffering of Christ?
Tipping All Scales to God’s Way of Thinking,
PJ COPYRIGHT ©2014 PJ Gover