What Should My Response to Suffering Be?

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 NRSV
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t address the persecutions of the Thessalonians in the same way that we often address persecutions. If you think about it, most pastors tell us that our faith is exemplified when we take authority over Satan and believe that our trials will disappear based on God’s love. But Paul, rather than preaching that, says that faith is based on persevering through afflictions.

We need to ask ourselves what we believe.

Rebuilding Your Old Ruins in Christ Jesus

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:4, NKJV

This Scripture really spoke to me this morning as I thought of how so many of us come from places of brokenness, of loss, of deep wounding. We can sometimes wonder if wholeness is a real possibility for us again, or is it just a pipe dream?

I do not believe Jesus is the Author of pipe dreams. Nor is He the author of confusion and the chaos that comes from our addictions and sin and life-controlling problems. But He is the Author of Life, the Author of the rich, eternal, abundant Life that flows forth from within His Spirit and up into our hearts and spirits as He pours His Love and Hope into our hearts:

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Job 42:7 MRSV
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job was a righteous man, a man who loved and served God with all his heart and might. He was a man who had prospered in an earthly sense, owning many flocks and having twelve children. He also was a man blessed with good health. All of this God allowed Satan to take from Job. Job’s life went, in a matter of days, from being comfortable and happy to being alone and miserable.

There is a saying: Bad things happen to good people.

Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks

An Introductory Look at Silkworth as One of A.A.'s "Co-founders"

William Duncan Silkworth, Jr., was born in Brooklyn on July 22, 1873. His family remembers him as a deeply spiritual man, not interested in any particular denomination. But he was, they said, a devout Christian. For many years, he attended Shoemaker's Calvary Episcopal Church in New York.[1]

TODAY is the Day!

I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. Psalm 118:13, The Message.

Rage-filled and loathing self, I was in a battle and determined to destroy myself. Not the self. My entire being. I did not know Christ within me, the Hope of glory! In my own eyes, I was evil. Unable to control my temper, ashamed, and drowning in a sea of self-created guilt and pity, I wanted out. I stepped to the precipice and looked deep into the darkness with longing to never again see the light of day. But when I jumped off the edge into the night, I found my cry answered by the Voice of Love and Grace, and my fall was broken by the gentle hands of Jesus catching me in His arms; He has held me close to His heart ever since, promising to never let me go! Praise be to Him forever! Alleluia! Amen!

Forgiveness, Grace, and Sin

Romans 6:1-2, 6 NSRV
Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?... We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

In CIR I Felt Compassion - Even When I was Really Messed Up

I have been sponsored on CIR a few key moments in my life. Sponsored financially (by CIR's scholarship program) that is. In those times of utter despair, then a few years later with a slight man and meth problem, then the true spiritual convictions on my pornography issues, & then there's the really destructive behaviors.

Sin, Guilt and Forgiveness

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:10-2:2 NRSV

You Can have a Transformed Life

Learn to experience the transforming power of God in your own life.

You Have a Choice to Walk in the Light

If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9 NRSV

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