Saturday, October 23, 2010

MUST OUR ILLNESS BE OUR THORN?

Please visit the other post which are part of Spiritual Sundays.


As our family struggles with the recent diagnosis of our oldest daughter, Suzette, suffering from lung cancer I was moved to read the following post on my dear blog friend, Bob of An Eye For Redemption post.


This is taken from How to Suffer As a Christian - Must Our Illness Be Our Thorn? from the folks at Rest Ministries.

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“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.” (1 Peter 4:1)

In his book “Surprised By Suffering“, R.C. Sproul says:


“. . . suffering is a vocation, a calling from God.”


I’m not sure how I feel about that. Being called upon to suffer is not something to get excited about, not if we look at suffering within the limited vision of pain and misery. Suffering only becomes something to be valued and useful to us in the light of Christ’s suffering.


Years ago I sensed the Lord trying to get the message of suffering across to me. I did not want to hear that I would have to suffer, but the fact is, if you belong to Christ, you will suffer, one way or another. To pick up our cross is to follow in His footsteps, and the path He walked was rough and rocky, pain-filled, and laden with suffering.


One thing suffering does fairly quickly is to get our eyes off of this world, to lessen our love for this world and begin to look forward to heaven. If we were given “heaven on earth” we’d have no desire to ever leave this place. Suffering lifts our eyes heavenward, to desire something better than this present world.


I don’t know what you might be suffering right now. You may be enduring one of the worst periods of suffering in your life. I encourage you to look toward Jesus, consider how much He endured, and place your suffering in the light of what our Lord endured for us.


It would be nice (we think), to never have to suffer, to never know pain and hardship, but whether we want to admit it or not, suffering changes us, it enables us to set our priorities correctly, and it causes us to look to, and call upon God for help.


Call upon God to help you through your times of suffering, and know that He is with you no matter what you are going through.


Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to stand strong in Your Spirit no matter what suffering comes our way. Amen

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As we walk our way through this testing one of the truths that keeps coming repeatedly to my mind and Spirit is:


On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.


It is on THAT solid rock we do stand, and we do walk day by day, and moment by moment.

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18 comments:

Saleslady371 said...

Standing on that solid rock with you, Susan, and believing for Suzette's healing.

Still praying,
mary

Donna said...

Your post is true. If we want to know the Savior, it is in the fellowship of suffering we will begin to understand who he is.

As I write that, I should admit that I am not fond of suffering either. I Love Him, but I am ashamed to admit that I mostly pray for deliverance from things that cause me to suffer.

Love and blessings to you, Donna

Joan said...

Hi Susan - I stopped over to check on your daughter. Your post is true - if we had no suffering, we wouldn't want to leave this earth. And if we never faced difficulties, we wouldn't feel the need for God, thinking we could handle things on our own.

Lifting your family up in prayer - God is indee able!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Praying for and with and loving you all. For me the thing is to turn my suffering into a blessing. Not always easy but worth the effort.

Dawn said...

Suffering is not something we want, but we have certainly had our share of "stuff" in the last few years. But we know Who holds our hands, and the future.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I'm praying to receive grace to endure suffering without complaint and that my suffering will not be in vain. Almost impossible with His presence.

Katherine

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

I'm praying for Suzett's full recovery. I like her hair cut it's pretty,and her smile.
God bless you and your family,
Ginger

Ruth said...

Hi Susan, i love your outlook.. this is so true and inspiring. Suzette and you will be in my thoughts and prayer from now!

Blessings,
Ruth

sarah said...

Hi Susan,
I struggled so long with why but finally came to realize the why's would never be answered. I realized I had two choices...become bitter or trust Him. I chose to trust Him. Those places that hurt so much....He put a peace. I can't even explain it except that On Christ the solid rock I stand and will stand and never let go. Praying for your dgt.'s complete healing.....

Kansas Bob said...

Glad you liked the post Susan. I think that trials and suffering are signs of a fallen world that is so in need of redemption. My prayer is that those who are closest to us would embrace that redemption.

Charlotte said...

Thank you for sharing your insight with us, Susan. Posts like this one are a comfort I know to others who are suffering and there is so much suffering going on in this world. Thank you for helping, and I'm praying for your daughter and for you.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Donnie said...

Such a sad and lovely post. I will keep you all in my prayers. We all benefit so much from Spiritual Sunday's. Have a blessed week.

Michele Williams said...

Praying for Suzette's healing. Rest Ministries has blessed me since their beginnings. Thank you for sharing.

Debra said...

Praying for your daughter and family Susan. I can testify that during my 'bout with cancer, I came to know the nearness of the Lord in a way that I would not have otherwise.

God bless you all,
Debra

Sohailah said...

Thank you for sharing this. Still believing for healing.

Kathy said...

Susan, I love this post, its perspective is a challenge, but something we must grapple with.

I have to say I see a pearl being made: I'm thinking of how a pearl is made in an oyster...the irritations, the layers (nacre, I believe it is,) and ultimately a pearl.

I hear so much wisdom being added to the wisdom you already have. You will possess something that is obtained only through suffering.

I hope what I am saying is not confusing, and it certainly is not about not having faith for healing, but there is undoubtedly something priceless that becomes ours when we endure these things.

Much love, prayers always, Kathy

Susan said...

Kathy,

What you say is so true. I've learned that on several levels and in several different situations during my life, but never in the whelm of illness. The one thing I know for an absolute fact is that my loving, all caring, God desires nothing but the BEST for me and mine and will bring that to pass if we will just get "ourselves" out of the way and trust Him and permit Him to work. I am. We are.
Always apprecaite your insightfulness and encouragement, and your love.

Sharon said...

Prayers for you and your family.
This was such an inspiration to me.
I want to thank you for posting it.
I also know suffering and now I will follow your example and let God work on me and for me.
Hugs and Prayers