Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Category

SharedCar3Yesterday I had a conversation with our Son about the car. He was incensed we would put our car he drives in the shop without providing another for his use. I tried to explain it was my job to administer our shared resources for the good of all — which means sometimes he has to wait and/or find alternatives to the places he wants to go.

Reasoning did no good, I guess because it combined two words: “Him” and “Wait”.

Today God had a conversation with me about almost the same thing. This world, everyone and everything in it, is a shared resource. It’s his dirt, he must administer those resources according to his wisdom and love — which means sometimes I have to wait and/or find alternatives to get me places I want to go, trusting that what I really need he will provide.

Sharing resources requires patience, a positive attitude, and perseverance.

— fritz

* Get your own dirt. April 27, 2012

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“Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” — God (Job 1:8)

When one thinks of suffering, Job traditionally comes to mind. Even God said that among people he was “perfect”. Yet, God allowed Job to go through troubles that make thinking people cringe. Why?

God does not answer that question directly but, like a good teacher, he leaves clues for those who really want to know.

Among those “in the earth” Job was as good as it gets but there has only ever been one completely free of sin and self — and it wasn’t you, me, or even Job.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” — God (Ezekiel 22:30)

As good as Job was, there were things that could only be learned through extended emotionally difficult times. During these seasons compassion is learned, God’s ability and desire to do all the carrying, all the heavy lifting, all the providing is learned. We learn how to focus on God’s approval, to be attentive to his ways. We learn how to pray.

These things we must learn to walk with God and they can only be learned by walking with God through suffering. Strange as it may seem, it was God’s goodness that allowed Job to go through the difficulties. Job not only ended up with twice as much as he had before but he ended up with a changed heart, too.

Something to think about.

— fritz.
Related Post: “Job’s Misunderstanding” – May 31, 2011

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Shimei cursed, cast stones at David, and said “Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial. The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul!”

Then said Abishai unto the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.”

And the king said, “Let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.” — 2nd Kings 16-17

It seems there’s always someone adding insult to injury. So, how do you handle difficult people?

King David gives the right example.

Fleeing for his life from his own son he was followed by someone taking the opportunity to add his own cheap shots.

Instead of responding in kind, however, David offered it as a sacrifice to God! He knew God has compassion on suffering and recognized his need for that compassion. The Bible says,

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. – Psalm 34:18 (Message Bible)

Offer suffering and the rudeness of others as a sacrifice to God — he sees and returns compassion.

— fritz@langgang.com

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“God … comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God….knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” – 2nd Corinthians 1:3a, 4a, 7b

Many don’t suffer for their faith, like the early apostles did, but every person has some tragedy, suffering, personal weakness, or situation causing them to ask, “Why me, and why this?!”

God offers a partial reason and a personal promise.

  1. The promise? Consolation! God promises if (when) we suffer there SHALL be a consolation from Him, so look for it! Stop focusing on “why this or why that and start looking for His consolation – it will be there, somewhere, He says it will!
  2. The partial reason? It’s the same as why we, who have given our lives to Christ, still remain here – to use our lives and experiences to give hope to others and to introduce them to the One who gives us hope and consolation.

Suffering people listen to those who have suffered like them and survived.

Stop thinking life is all about you, in the suffering look for His consolation and when you have it share how you found it!

– fritz

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The word, “SHOULD”, causes more trouble! We get in our minds what “should” happen if things were as they “should” be and it blinds us to reality!

Over the phone Technical Support tells me their instructions “SHOULD” have worked and they think they have done their job. Not!

We think God “SHOULD” insulate us from hurting and blame him when he doesn’t.

Do with “SHOULD” what Mattress Mac says do with an old lumpy mattress,“Throw it out!” and let the reality of Christ seep into your psyche:

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. — 1st Peter 4:12-13 (KJV)

Those “fiery trials” mature us and teach us God’s real faithfulness. It is easy to say God is wonderful when everything is fine, discovering God’s faithfulness in difficulty is more settling.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. – Psalm 9:9-10 (KJV)

I am discovering in the stressful, oppressive, times of trouble He hasn’t forsaken me but is, instead, teaching me how to put my trust in Him, and I am discovering how to let tomorrow’s threats of destruction not shake me because when those “tomorrows” have, in the past, become “today” they have always proved God’s grace was sufficient.

– Fritz@langgang.com

Also see: Let and Put Not the Same – February 2, 2010

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