Wow. That sermon on Sunday was so good, it made me feel like I want suffering–like he said at the end, “Bring it!”
Of course, one knows that feeling will quickly disappear. However, the words I picked out were: “Make up your mind right now, that you won’t be afraid.” That you won’t be afraid (for yourself or those you love) of suffering, afraid of how long it might last, of the unknown, etc. I know I WILL be afraid, for the first few minutes; but I also know from experience that I’ll be able, with God’s help, to train my focus to the Resurrected One, the One who has suffered all-even-death-and-come-back-to-life, knowing:
- that God has an overall, far-reaching plan;
- that his purpose will prevail, no matter how long it seems to take, no matter what it looks like to my finite perspective, and whether or not I ever get to see the completion of it in this life;
- in other words, that my little corner is only a tiny piece of the puzzle, as valuable as it may be to the overall picture;
- and there is more to life than this life (suffering will NOT last forever);
- and that every little trial is in preparation and training–for other things in this life (like learning to rely totally on God, learning not to care what man thinks), AND for life hereafter.
So if you suffer a lot/often, just imagine how beautiful Heaven is going to be!
“I can see your pain and poverty–constant pain, dire poverty–but I also see your wealth.” (Revelation 2:9)
May those who are suffering right now, be filled with the confidence that You do see.