How do I define suffering? Simply stated, suffering is anything which hurts or irritates, brings pain or sorrow. In today’s world, no matter what country, city, zip code or address, suffering is occurring. In some places there is complete chaos and unrest.
You know the points we are given: divorce, disease, murder, and loss of employment are struggles many of us face. There are homes where both parents are incarcerated, some homes have had multi generations of family members enter the prison system. Our children deal with bullying at school and we have an appalling mental health epidemic, We are subjected to reports on the FDA & obesity, homelessness, drug addiction and drug addicted newborns. People’s emotions are irrational, yet justified at the same time. I could go on and on…So much hate, anger, destruction and sin, saddens us to our core. But, there is HOPE.
How can there be HOPE with all that is going on? Because God is alive and HE IS ABLE!!! Be Encouraged!!!
God is still the same today as he was yesterday and he does not change. We do. We live in a fallen world, but He is able to redeem what the enemy has stolen from us. Maybe you have walked through a job loss, have struggled in relationships, or have a debilitating illness or a loss of life. Where is the HOPE there? The HOPE is in you. You now have a testimony of how you overcame those circumstances. You are now equipped to help someone else conquer these same trials. What you have experienced (no matter how painful) God can redeem, and give you the power to help others and to heal you. Be Encouraged!!!
You may say to yourself, why would I tell someone else about the pain or tragedy that happened in my life? All I know, is that, every time you share your story, God heals you. Your story is His story and every day that passes it becomes History, What hurt so much yesterday can be turned into God’s glory today. Trust the Lord your God to show you who to share your story with, and see that whose lives He can change with it. Be Encouraged!!!
One of my favorite apostles Paul wrote:
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NASB)
You are not to bear your burdens alone. God is our refuge and we are all of one body in Christ. I have found that we can find part of God’s refuge in a Church home. A place where we can go when we are hurting. The church can be a community where our issues, hearts and life stories are valued and honored. Be Encouraged!!!
In my own life, I have found that suffering equipped me for ministry. Each trial has shaped me into the woman of God that I am today. I am not ashamed of my trials because I view them as pure gold. You see, with Jesus, I overcame them. He has shown me how to love beyond myself. To put others first. To forgive those who have hurt me. To give of myself and not to judge others. Be Encouraged!!!
My life experiences have led me to write these words. I can now see how the favor of God was with me through every facet of my life. His grace has kept and carried me through to today. Some trials are easier than others. Our burdens belong to Him. Let go and let God. We were not meant to carry our baggage or burdens alone. We must get in the habit of laying our burdens down, releasing them to God. It is the only way to travel light through the trials of our lives. Be Encouraged!!!
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.
~ Angela, Truffle Out!