Suffering is a part of life. We will all have seasons and situations where we feel like the weight of the world is crashing down on us. Have you ever been there?
Thoughts about suffering:
- Suffering doesn’t mean God has turned his back on you.
- Suffering doesn’t always come because of sin & disobedience.
- Suffering doesn’t give you permission to give up.
- Suffering often places us exactly where God wants us. Crazy, but true.
Robert Browning Hamilton expressed this thought so wonderfully in verse:
“I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chatted all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!”
What is suffering? Suffering is really when someone is going through something that appears to be more than they can handle. Have you ever been there? I know I have. But the word that we have to focus on is that it APPEARS to be more than we can handle. That’s how the enemy messes with us … by what something appears to be … not what it actually is. Don’t settle for the appearance!
C.S. Lewis said that “God whispers to us in our joys, speaks to us in our conscience, and shouts to us in our pain.”
When things are going great it is like God is whispering in a crowded room of His immense, outrageous love for us–but we can’t hear. We’re too busy. He tries again to speak to us through our heart, but we don’t slow down enough to listen. Our heart can’t hear, because we’re consumed with so many things.
So he often allows pain to snag our attention – he may not cause it – we may make foolish decisions or the enemy may be taking us on … but pain often propels us closer to God! I have often said this: “Your pain and your past is a platform God allows to use you.”
I like this guy Job. He was a committed follower of God. But all within 10 minutes he loses everything he has ever valued or loved. The book of Job offers some great inspiring thoughts. I just want to give you one verse from Job.
Job 36:15: “But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.”
Catch this today. When you are going through it never forget God will create an opportunity for deliverance – a moment when you will no longer be suffering. And in that suffering – or that painful moment – God has your attention because you are listening for Him … not just to Him … BIG difference.
Suffering? Listen … God is speaking.