Our Present Sufferings
Romans 8:18-25 ESV
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us… And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
While we live on the face of this earth, we will have trouble. We will have heartaches and disappointments, and some people will hate, betray, deceive, lie to, and mistreat us. We may even fail ourselves, at times, to be all who God created us to be, and we may, at some time in our lives, do the unthinkable, and we may hurt those we love, too.
We will suffer, too, with others in their suffering, and our hearts will ache for them. And their suffering may even be cause for our suffering due to the circumstances surrounding their time of suffering. And so, we will be hit with double the heartache.
Nonetheless, as those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we know that suffering is part of the Christian life, and that we were destined for it, but that it is for our good, to mature us in Christ, so we will share in God’s holiness, and so we will bear fruit for God’s eternal kingdom.
And we also have the hope that one day we will shed these earthly bodies, and that we will have our heavenly bodies, and we will suffer no more. We will finally be with our Lord forever, our marriage to him will be consummated, and our salvation will be complete. And that is our hope.
The Spirit Helps!
Romans 8:26-27 ESV
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Oh, I am so thankful that I have the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness, because I am not a naturally strong person physically or emotionally. I hurt and I cry when people are unkind and mean to me, if they are people I know, and I have a relationship with them. Strangers don’t impact me in the same way as do people I know personally, and with whom I am close.
Even though the Lord has me write tough stuff from his word day after day after day, it doesn’t mean I am not impacted by the responses that I receive, or the negative or hateful treatment, or people distancing themselves from me and rejecting me and not wanting to be with me.
I feel it. I feel lonely, at times. I know some people find me odd and peculiar and they just don’t know what to make of me. They don’t understand this calling of God on my life to write what he gives me to write each day. They can’t understand my dedication to do so, either, for nearly 15 years daily.
But I know this is God’s will and purpose for my life even from before I was even formed in the womb of my mother. I know this full well. And I know that God spent my lifetime preparing me for this ministry, too, which involved much heartache and rejection over my lifetime.
But when he finally brought me to this place where he called me to this ministry, he had prepared my heart and mind to say “Yes,” fully knowing what awaited me. But still, I am flesh and blood. I still bleed. I still hurt. I still feel the rejection of others. But I must go on.
But the Lord has also blessed me with encouragers, and with people who respond positively to me and to what the Lord has me write each day, and so I am very thankful for that. But if I did not have that I would still do what I do, because God called me, and because I know it is critical that I do.
And the Holy Spirit is my helper, my counselor, and my encourager who speaks to God for me when words just escape me, or when all I can do is just cry “Help!” because I don’t know what else to say. So, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me according to the will of God.
All for Our Good
Romans 8:28-30 ESV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Sometimes we have difficult circumstances beyond our comprehension to understand, and we may be asking God “Why?” And we may have difficulty grasping in our emotions that God is actually working it all for good, for our best, if we love and obey him, and if we truly have been called of God according to his purposes, and if we are not living for sin and self.
But if we could just “wrap our minds around” what this is saying here, and truly believe it in our hearts, it will help us get through our difficult circumstances and our times of suffering. For our God is completely sovereign over our lives, and he has everything under his control.
When the Scriptures teach about suffering, difficulties, persecutions, and the like, they talk about how they are for our good to mature us in Christ, to make us more like Jesus, to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, and so that we will share in the holiness of God.
For, if we submit to our Lord in our suffering, and we don’t fight against him and his will and purpose for our lives, he will do amazing things in our lives in changing our hearts and attitudes, and in conforming us to his likeness. We always have room for growth, and we need to be continually growing.
For, God’s purpose for our lives is that we be fully surrendered to him and to his will for our lives. It is that we die daily to sin and self, and daily walk with him in his holiness and righteousness, in his strength and power. It is that we do his will, and that we fulfill his purpose for us by our obedience.
So, when you are going through a time of suffering, although it may be quite painful, and you may not comprehend why you are going through it, or why God is allowing this or that to happen, just know that he has a plan and a purpose for it all, and he wants to work good in your life through it, so surrender it all to him, and just let him work.
An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”