Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rejoicing in Suffering


"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance" Romans 5:3 
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  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 4:4-7

I have to admit that I never rejoiced in suffering until this past week.  Passages like the ones above just never made sense to me.  How can you rejoice when everything is going wrong?  

But I'm starting to realize that to not praise G-d even during suffering is a kind of idolatry.  If I focus on my suffering then I take my focus off of G-d, I forget that He is "Eloheinu Melech ha-Olam", that He is in control of EVERYTHING.

What a wonderful peace it is to begin to see this!  

TRY THIS:

Take some time today (or tonight) to think about how much G-d loves you.  Satan loves to whisper in your ear, "G-d could never love someone like you".  But the truth is that G-d really does love you.  He is your Father and, like a father, He thinks about you all day long and waits to hear from you.

Then:

The next time you experience suffering try to react by praising G-d.  And really mean it!  Keep your focus on Him even when you feel like curling up into a ball and crying.  

P.S.  If anyone has had experiences where you've rejoiced even in suffering, please share them with us!

Shalom,

Peter





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