Posts Tagged suffering
I have been thinking a lot lately about how I ended up where I’m at. I am so happy to be doing what I know God has wired me up to do. I still have struggles, but they’re much different than before. I think it all has to do with the fact that I’ve finally realized that trying to live by my own plan, my own desires and my own initiative – gets me nowhere.
I struggled with relationships. As a result, I’m 0 for 2 when it comes to marriages.
I struggled with careers. As a result, several times I’ve gone from entry level to executive, only to get laid off and right back in the same situation.
Financially, I’ve had jobs earning 6 figures and I’ve had jobs that paid just minimum wage. Yet, I’ve never lived extravagantly or in need.
So, when I read the following verses in 2 Corinthians today, it confirmed some things I’ve been thinking about:
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
I realize it’s not about me. When I live that way, I go no where, I struggle with no reward, I suffer and end up right back at the same spot where I realize it’s not about me.
I may seem out of my right mind, but I want to live for him who died and was raised again, not for myself. How arrogant of me to think I have a better plan for my life than my creator!
Lord, forgive my selfish motives. I want to live for you and you alone. I trust the plan you have for my life.
I’m finally getting back into my daily reading routine! Ack, how easy it is for me to neglect the daily reading of God’s word.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.”
It actually comes up quite often that people misquote 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says:
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
This verse is all very affirming and everything, but it does not say that God will not “give you more than you can handle.” It’s talking about temptation only – that we will not be tempted beyond what we can endure.
And here’s the proof! As indicated by Paul’s writing in today’s reading, Paul and his companions WERE crushed and overwhelmed BEYOND their ability to endure. But, and here’s the good part, when they stopped trying to solve things on their own, and when they relied on God, He rescued them.
This is an important lesson to learn.
For people to think they are somehow protected by God from “too much” suffering is a dangerous, false teaching. In fact, He sometimes uses suffering to get our attention.
I have been at the place several times in my life, where I though I had been abandoned by God, left to fend for myself. But the truth is, God will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). When I felt this way, I had gotten myself into the predicament, and I was arrogantly trying to do things without God’s help. The only way He could get my attention was through suffering. Typically, I respond to suffering first by trying harder in my own power – so the suffering intensifies until I realize the only way out is by putting my focus back on God and trusting Him. When will I learn?
The more we resist and try to do it on our own, the harder it can be. Until we are able to trust Him and allow the suffering to accomplish its task, we will continue to struggle – and sometimes it will be more than we can handle, regardless of what good-intentioned people will argue with you about scripture and how God will protect you.
That’s the whole point! We simply can’t do this on our own! It’s arrogant and it’s wrong to think that way.
Today, I will try to rely on God for everything.