The End Result of Suffering

Some of you are suffering today.  Really suffering.  Cancer.  A failed marriage.  No income.  An addiction.  Suffering on an extreme level – perhaps you find yourself in a dark place where you feel no hope.

God placed this verse in my heart this morning – perhaps some of you need a gentle reminder of the end result of suffering: “…but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

We will all suffer here on this earth.  But as we discussed in my small group yesterday suffering can either make you bitter or it can make you better.

After you go through one of life’s big storms don’t you want to be able to look back on that time in your life and thank God for the blessings along the way instead of blaming Him – or other people for the mess you were in?  Don’t you want to pry open your hands which are tightly holding on to your past mistakes and instead open them up for the blessings in the future God wants to give you?  How do you do that?

Only through Jesus.  Only through a deep understanding and acceptance of what His blood on that cross means in your life.  Without it you will not be better – you will be bitter.  Trust me – been there, done that, got the girl scout badge for it.

And when you make it to the other side of suffering you will look back and realize you persevered through the hard times.  And that perseverance will build a spiritual character in you that others will see and want to imitate.  And that character leads to an undeniable hope in Jesus and in eternity.

And on this earth isn’t that really what we need?  Hope in something better, longer lasting – eternal?

cropped-dsc_2828.jpg

My hope for you today is you get so close to Jesus you can feel Him holding your hand through the storms of life.  For when you feel His presence all around you, supporting you, propping you up when you don’t have the strength to go on, the hope that Jesus gives will carry you through your darkest days.  Your hope in Jesus will sustain you, for you will know and believe something better is waiting for you on the other side of suffering – hope.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The End Result of Suffering

  1. I love this and needed it today. This is the scripture that came to mind: “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4) He never says IF troubles come, he says WHEN. So we need to prepare our hearts so we can made perfect. 🙂

    • So true! After I posted this I read today’s Jesus Calling devotional and read the same verses in James – just a confirmation that trouble does come our way but through Jesus we can have victory!

  2. I don’t think I can support the idea that suffering is justified by a closer walk with God. Sometimes I think that Christians get caught up romanticizing suffering because of the end result of increased faith and don’t let their faith grow by allowing it to be challenged by the suffering. It’s almost like embrace the suck, rather than realizing that suffering is something we should work against.

    • Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” It’s not a maybe, trouble is going to happen. And my hope for people who are suffering is that they will make it to the other side better, not bitter. No one wants to suffer and we should all work to make a situation better according to God’s will, but that doesn’t mean we won’t suffer at all. A mature Christian finds joy in each circumstance. Easier said than done, but it can be done. Blessings to you!

      • On the cross Jesus cried out, “my God my God why have you forsaken me?” I don’t think Jesus was joyful in His suffering and His example even shows us that questioning God is called for.
        Romans 12:12-15 Tells us to be joyful with those who are joyful when we hope, to be sad with those who are sad and to be patient through suffering. There’s no reason why people can’t be present in their suffering and actually suffer through it. For everything there is a season, Ecclesiates 3, we don’t have to be joyful all the time. What we are called to do is not turn our backs on God even when we are suffering.
        If you ever have any interest in really delving into the issues with redemptive suffering, try searching it in tandem with black theology.
        “Why Lord, Suffering and Evil in Black Theology” by Anthony Pinn is a fantastic jumping point.
        And blessings to you.

      • I also don’t wish to be negative but I must say that saying “mature Christians” can find joy in every circumstance implies that lesser Christians only suffer during their suffering. I don’t think that Christ was any less mature because he cried out in agony and I doubt that He would hold us to a higher standard. I know that’s nitpicky, I just wanted to point it out because I feel you don’t mean to insult or make anyone feel lesser. Especially not those who suffer. I believe that it is simply your intention to bring joy to those who are in suffering, rather than admonishment.
        Blessings again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s