Friday, March 22, 2013

On Suffering.


Ive been thinking a lot about suffering and struggles lately. Because, well, we all go through them. I have recently gone through some BIG struggles in my life. And of course there are the every day struggles... There people all around me, people I love who are struggling and suffering for different things and going through hardships.

I started thinking about God and where He is in all of this. I've never once question that there is a God, that we have a divine creator.  But I would be lying if I said I never questioned God. Asked Him WHY? Why am I going through this, why did this have to happen, why do people suffer? Why, why, WHY?

Because we go through struggles and we have hardships or bad things happen some people seem to assume there is no God. Or if you're a person that believes in God, you may think that God doesn't love us. Or that God has left us or is punishing us.

But as I was thinking on this subject I was reminded that scripture tells us that God has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:15) In fact we are told to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS, not to be afraid or terrified, because God is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us! (Deuteronomy 31:6)

We need to remember that there is pain and suffering in the world because we have choice, free will. And where there is choice and free will there will always be someone who chooses evil. And just because we ourselves may not (always) choose evil (we are all sinners and will or have at once point or another do some kind of evil), that doesn't mean we wont be affected by it.

We will have times of suffering. We will endure hardships. But we also need to remember that we are not alone in our suffering. Jesus who was blameless and sinless suffered for us. And we will suffer because He too has suffered (more verses on His suffering 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Peter 3:18). He has suffered for US. And as we take up our cross and follow Him, we too will suffer along the narrow road. We need to know that even though we will suffer, it doesn't mean that God doesn't exist or doesn't love us, or that he is mean or unjust. But He does allow suffering because it grows us (spiritually and emotionally), prepares us, gives us a testimony, produces perseverance and obedience...

I found this written by Rick Warren, while doing some research on suffering, and looking for different bible verses online.. And I wanted to share, because he explains it so well:

"Nothing can come into the life of a child of God without God's permission.  Everything is Father-filtered. Don't misunderstand.  I am not saying that everything that happens to you in life is God's perfect will.  That's just not true.  There are a lot of things that are not God's will. If you go out and sin, that's not God's will.  If somebody sins against you, that's not God's perfect will.

But God does have a permissive will. If I go out and I overeat, I pay the consequences.  If I go out and wreck my body, I pay the consequences.  God does not cause evil and God does not cause suffering.

But He does allow them because they have a purpose.  God permits them and then He uses them. 
God is an expert at bringing good out of bad...  
God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections.  The things you wish were most removed from your life are often the very things that God is using to shape you and make you into the believer of character He wants you to be.  He wants to use that problem for good in your life. There's something more important than your pain.  It's what you're learning from that pain. God is in control."
(read the full article here)

So what can we do when we suffer? Does knowing this, that God will eventually bring good out of it, make us all better at the time of struggles and suffering? Maybe not... Maybe we will need to cry. A LOT. Maybe we will need to have a pity party. Maybe we will need to throw a few fits. Maybe we will be angry. Maybe it will take time before we can get out of bed and face the day, or people, or feel like we can live again.... Maybe we will need to take it one day, hour, minute or second at a time.

BUT we can still TRUST that we have a HOPE that God works for the Good of those who love Him. And that in the end we will be ok. Better even. Because in the end GOD is there. In the midst of struggles, even, God is there! Even when we don't feel it we can KNOW that God is HOLDING us. And He will be our refuge and strength. And we can take heart because though we suffer in this world, we know that God has already overcome the world. And nothing in the world can compare to the glory we will share in, with Him in Heaven.

My sweet friends. I have prayed over and about this post.
Its my prayer that God uses it touches your heart that it just might be helpful to someone.
That it is something someone needed to hear right now.
I know I need these kind of reminders often.
I pray that you take courage, heart and refuge in our loving heavenly Father in YOUR times of struggle & suffering.

I'll be linking this up to Desire to Inspire.

Much Love & Hugs,
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  1. Thanks for this encouraging post, Maria, even if it is about suffering. My favorite part, "God turns cruxifictions into resurrections." THANK YOU GOD!!


  2. Thanks for the beautiful words, the word strength has been popping out at m lately, and I know that this word is meant for me, God knows I need it.

  3. Thank you for following God's lead on writing this article. You know at the end where you say "Its my prayer that God uses it touches your heart that it just might be helpful to someone. That it is something someone needed to hear right now."? Well that someone was me. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for 4 years and this past month we tried out our first procedure to help us get pregnant. Right before I read this article, the pregnancy test came back negative. Nothing describes the heartache and pain that comes along with that negative result. After crying and holding onto eachother, I read this beautiful message written by you and I knew it was in God's plan for me to read it. I definitely ask God "Why?" everytime we don't get pregnant but I know deep down in my heart that He has it all under control. This morning I couldn't see His control in it but your written words helped me remember that I don't always see it, I need to just trust. Thank you again for this. You'll never know how much it helped me today.

  4. Hello my Sweet Friend! Yes, this post has come at a very perfect time for a GREAT friend of mine who is going through some tough struggles right now. I forwarded this to her, letting her know He is ALWAYS w/ her, especially during times like this!! Thank you Maria for listening to Him!
    Love you to pieces!!

  5. As I lay here in bed tonight, in severe pain due to shingles, these words of encouragement are a blessing and a reminder of God's grace and truth. It's also a humbling reminder that if I would stress LESS and give God MORE, life wouldn't be so difficult. My pea-brain isn't supposed to figure it out. FULLY RELY ON GOD. Blessings + Hugs, sweet friend and thank you for the courage to share such a powerful, authentic post. =)

  6. LOVE this post, friend! Thanks for the encouragement!

    Praying for you, and praising the Lord for speaking through you! :)

  7. Well goodness girl, you know this is very close to my heart - and exactly what I have learned to embrace through our struggle with infertility. I'm so glad you linked it up to Desire to Inspire!

  8. What a beautiful post! Thank you for this, it is a good reminder, I definitely needed this today :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts with me!

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