Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Suffering bites... or does it?

Today I'm thinking a lot about suffering.

It started with the phone call that woke me up. Someone I love dearly was suffering. Financial struggles were the beginning but those often lead to relationship struggles and fear and suffering. We prayed before I got off the phone and I conveniently pointed her to yesterday's blog post on Philippians 4:8. I love how God steps in and provides the tools and resources for those still half asleep.  :)

After I had my coffee and my head was clearing I prayed for a young friend who was having her uterus removed today. No doubt some suffering there.

Then I thought back to my own suffering. And my husband's.

I flipped to the concordance in my bible and started to search though scripture on suffering. And there are many. In light of Philippians 4:8 and looking to the good and praiseworthy things let's focus on the scriptures that talk of the benefits of suffering. Wait, what?! Benefits?

Yep, you know the old saying that God can use evil for good? It's still true.
  • Suffering destroys counterfeit faith - Job 1:9
  • Suffering drives us back tot he basics of faith, Job 3:11
  • Suffering cannot destroy life's purpose, Job 3:23-26
  • Suffering tests our values, Job 14:22
  • How you react to suffering reflects what you believe, Job 21:22, Philippians 1:12-14, Job 32:2
  • Suffering demonstrates our loyalty to God, Psalm 44:9-22
  • Suffering will end one day, 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, Revelation 7:17
  • Suffering brings rewards, Mark 8:32,33
  • There are benefits of suffering, Philippians 1:29
  • Suffering may be a sign of effective living, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-3
  • Sin loses its power when we suffer, 1 Peter 4:1,2
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of suffering. It's not fun and it's really tough to experience gracefully. But, His grace really is sufficient for us and is made perfect in weakness.

Please join me in prayer for those suffering. Prayers that God will be glorified and will provide His grace and peace through their struggles.

Luke 21:36
 Be always on the watch, 
and pray that you may be able to escape 
all that is about to happen, 
and that you may be able to stand 
before the Son of Man.”

**if you are suffering and would like others praying for you please feel free to ask in the Comments section**


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