Suffering

Things I am Learning from Cancer

When I was diagnosed with cancer it was as if God had slammed me over the head with a 2x4. I was stunned -- stopped dead in my tracks. I was emotionally and physically numb. It took months to come to terms with what it actually meant. How was this going to affect me? my relationships? my loved ones? What about the future? Do I even have a future? What will happen to my loved ones after I am gone? Questions whirled around inside my head.

Chemo has not been successful There is not much anyone can do yet I can clearly see that God is in the process of teaching me some important things.

Why doesn't God seem to answer my prayers?Premium Content

Why doesn't God seem to answer my prayers?

Often quoted is Psalm 37:4b, "and he will give you the desires of your heart." This portion of the Scripture is often used to say that God will give you what you ask for. However, the first part of this verse-often unquoted-provides the true meaning behind it. Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart."

If you are taking pleasure in the things of God, and you want for yourself no more and no less than God's will for you, then you can be confident that He will grant you your desires. But, when you mix your own desires and self-made plans into your prayers, God may not answer the way that you thought you wanted Him to. James 4:3 says, When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

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I worry so much. What can I do to stop worrying?Premium Content

I worry so much. What can I do to stop worrying?

Fear, worry, stress and anxiety are not from the Lord. If you feel these emotions, you are not fully trusting the Lord to handle your troubles. Every person struggles with these feelings when he should relinquish a problem into the Lord's care. When relying on one's own strength, fear and doubt arise naturally. But, when you truly cast your cares upon the Lord, you can rest easy in His comforting arms.

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When You Feel Like Giving Up - Hang in TherePremium Content

There are times (though they are fleeting) that I feel like giving up on everything and everybody. That includes me and even God. Thankfully Heavenly Papa doesn't take me seriously. And neither does He issue me a citation for going too far out of bounds from His Watch Care, Grace and Love. David said,

If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon,
you'd find me in a minute - you're already there waiting!
Psalm 139: 8-9, The Message

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Reigning Through SufferingPremium Content

...it is both sin and Satan that we contend with, and our daily handling of suffering will directly determine how much sin and Satan will prevail.

Absorbing the Evil

Evil propagates itself by a chain reaction. It is like a bad coin, which is passed on from one person to another until it reaches someone who will put it out of currency by absorbing the loss. If one man injures another, there are three ways in which evil can win a victory and only one way in which it can be defeated. If the injured person retaliates, or nurses a grievance, or takes it out on a third person, the evil is perpetuated and is therefore victorious. Evil is defeated only if the injured person absorbs the evil and refuses to allow it to go any further. It is this kind of victory which Paul describes when he says that Christ died to sin.1

G. B. Caird has given us a brilliant insight: the defeat of evil is often determined by the injured person! How? It is that person's choice to absorb the evil through longsuffering, meekness, and love. When people do this, they prevent their personal injustice to percolate and transform itself into something they take out on another. The sin stops with them.

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How can I overcome health-related discouragement?Premium Content

How can I overcome health-related discouragement?

A physical disability is another avenue through which Satan can attack your mind. He can whisper thoughts of anger, confusion, disappointment, and worthlessness in your ear until you begin to claim those feelings as your own. But, the Lord has a different plan in mind for you. His plans is to work ALL things, in your life, together for His good purposes (Rom. 8:28).

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Life's Challenges: Pointless or Pointillism?Premium Content

When I was in high school, my saintly art teacher tried her best to give us rural hooligans some culture. The jury is still out on the results. But, in the study of different styles and artists, we learned about pointillism. The definition reads as follows:

A late 19th-century style of painting in which a picture is constructed from dots of pure color that blend, at a distance, into recognizable shapes and various color tones.

The artist, George Seurat is one such artist who incorporated pointillism. His famous work, "Sunday Afternoon On the Island Of La Grande Jatte," has made its way into popular culture, as well as into the Art Institute of Chicago.

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In Times of Stress and Struggle

Proverbs 17:24 NRSV
The discerning person looks to wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool to the ends of the earth.

These are dire times. In most cases, regardless of the time of life or the circumstances surrounding us, these are dire times. There are few days of rest and relaxation, many days of concern and emotional buffeting. And in those times of stress and struggle, we often wear ourselves out looking for solutions to our problems rather than simply laying those problems at the feet of our Savior. In illness, we search for medicines and doctors and treatments. In financial distress, we search for jobs and loans and money. In emotional distress, we search for friends and relationships and happiness. Scripture tells us that "the discerning person looks to wisdom."

Wandering in the Wilderness? Keep a Proper Perspective

We all wander in the wilderness to some extent. No one on earth has "arrived." Anxieties, fears, worries, depression, pain afflict us all.

Just because someone is saved does not mean that bad things no longer happen or that we cease to be confused at times. The difference is Who we choose to carry us when we can no longer carry ourselves.

We all have a choice to make. Are you going to be the Lord of your own life and insist on going it alone? Will you look to other people, places and things to carry you? (This is
idolatry). Or will you look to God?

Need Strength? Our Sure Resource!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble! Psalm 46:1

God intended Himself to be the great fountain of supply to His creatures. All are to be dependent on Him--and to look for their supplies from Him. Just so, the believer is to apply to God for all. Ample provision is made--but it is only in Jesus. Promises are given--but they are to be fulfilled by Jesus. He possesses all fullness, and as such He presents Himself to us as His needy dependent creatures--and says, "Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other!" Isaiah 45:22

This is the business of faith and prayer--to look to Jesus, and apply to Jesus for all that we need. Let us consider these words as spoken unto us every day--as calling us away from dependence on the creature, and as directing us how to act under all circumstances. It is Jesus who speaks. Jesus, as God. Jesus, as the Savior. Jesus, full of sympathy and power. Let us therefore listen to--and act upon His Word.

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