Suffering

The Trials, Sorrows and Losses in Our Lives


"I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. . . . He prunes every branch that produces fruit--so that it will produce more fruit." John 15:1-2

Expect Opposition

Nehemiah 4:14 NIV "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

When we strive to rebuild our lives because of the loss of a family member, marital conflict, divorce, economic instability, addiction, betrayal or some other challenge, we can expect opposition. The devil hates us and uses people to mock us, to threaten us or to block our rebuilding. Nehemiah faced the ridicule and the threats of Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod.

Patience Doesn't Develop in 5 Minutes

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

God isn't McDonald's.

Most fast food joints are now promising your meal within so many minutes or it's free. And you get it: all the sawdust, processed sugar, and dirt (yes, dirt!) you can eat and within five minutes, no less. And I think we've become so accustomed to having what we want when we want it that we've forgotten: God isn't McDonald's. (Thank goodness.) The really good things in life most often don't come in five minutes.

Do You Feel God is Failing You?

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

Some years ago I served on a pastoral care team at a large Southern California church, where one of my primary responsibilities was biblical counseling. I never ceased to be amazed at the number of Christians who came into my office to complain of God’s unfaithfulness and unfair treatment in their lives. Financial problems? God’s provision wasn’t sufficient. Wayward children? God hadn’t led them properly. Broken marriage? God had failed to intervene.

Sickness is Discouraging But.....

A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop in a great city, one day noticed that there was one little place in his dark room, from which he could get a view of green fields, blue skies and faraway hills. He wisely set up his bench at that point, so that at any moment he could lift his eyes from his dull work--and have a glimpse of the great, beautiful world outside.

Moving from Passive Victim to Active Seeker


Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein.

I’ve been thinking a bit (an unusual and dangerous development) about the notion of overcoming adversity. As a paraplegic, I’m often asked questions like: How did you deal with it? How did you get past it? What helped you move forward?

When I recall twenty-one years of adjusting to life in a wheelchair, first impressions include frustration, anger, and isolation. Each challenge seems to elicit a sense of impossibility and hopelessness, and my initial reaction is capitulation. It’s as though I’m programmed to greet difficult circumstances with: I’ll never be able to …

Why Do We Have to Suffer?

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Matthew 5:3

How can this be? How can I be blessed if I am suffering? What good does suffering do? . Philip Yancey says:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Why? Because "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3)
    The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer are blessed (Matt. 5:3-6) because their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them every day. They must turn somewhere for strength. People who are rich, successful, and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts. But people who are needy, dependent, and dissatisfied with life are more likely to welcome God’s free gift of love.

Flowers And New Life

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

“Everything’s just so hard!”

My friend was sharing about a million things that seemed to be going wrong all at once. A couple of big issues and a bunch of smaller ones piled on her shoulders until she felt buried. She knew intellectually that it would eventually pass, that things weren’t as awful as they seemed, but knowing couldn’t halt the emotional, gut-churning fear and resentment.

Ever been there? (Yes, I see all those nodding heads.)

Stand Firm when Emotionally and Physically Exhausted

Our pastor shared this scripture with us yesterday. It was God's timing (which is always amazing to me) because this year I have felt burdened excessively. It's been one of those years when there wasn't one burden, one tragedy, one suffering, but rather one after another after another after another until I've felt that I could barely breathe. I certainly have become rather gun shy, wondering what possibly could happen next and knowing that, in all likelihood, what will happen next will be painful, unpleasant at best.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NASB

No Matter How I Feel, Christ is My Righteousness

Galatians 6:12b
"...the cross of Christ alone can save." (NLT)

David Wilkerson, in the World Challenge Pulpit Series of April 26, 2010, writes:
"No matter how I feel, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many doubts may arise, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many accusations I hear from the devil during the day, I stand on this: God sees me as righteous in Christ!"

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