I would never write this post if I did not believe it was true nor would I know how to write this if I had not experienced it. The last 6 mos. have turned everything upside down around my little family of David, me and our kids. We are fine... but so many loved ones near us are not. Family and friends alike, on both sides. But, because we bear one another's burdens... in reality, we are not fine.
Each situation unique, each with grievous pain. Some pain is emotional, some physical and some spiritual. So many times, everything in me has cried out to God... "make it all STOP!" So many times, I just plead with God to send Christ back so we can go home. Of course, there are too many that do not know Him as Savior to really wish that.
Probably the deepest hurt for me is to see willful choices of sin that lead to devastation... for everyone, not just themselves. Consequences for those who "do what is right in their own eyes" hold tragedy of all kinds and sadly even for the surrounding innocent. The Enemy is cunning and disguises himself as an angel of light, justifying every fleshly desire.
Recently, it has occurred to me, that actually ALL pain is a result of willful choices of sin. The earth itself and all of mankind has been cursed because of sin. You can't read or watch the news without recognizing our world is devastated.
How does any of this lead to thanksgiving? I'm glad you asked.
"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:8-11
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." 1 Peter 4:12-14
And then, yesterday, as I was working on my Isaiah study, God lovingly revived my weary heart with these precious words of truth that left tears of joy streaming down my face...
"He(God) will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, 'Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.'"
Be encouraged dear sisters and brothers... "THIS is our GOD for whom we have waited that He might SAVE us!" Our time here is short and so many are lost. Don't be surprised by the abundant hardships but rest in His abundant comfort. Press on with me, friends! Don't lose sight of the goal when we are so close! Our GOD will be faithful to do it!! Choose today to give thanks for the great things He has done and REJOICE in the sufferings of Christ!
And let us not forget to pray for one another....