Friday, February 22, 2019

Long Longsuffering

Submitted by Lara Cook
I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  Psalm 40:1-3

Suffering is a part of life here on earth.  As we have looked at valleys over the past two days, we have seen that suffering often comes in the valleys.  But the good thing about both valleys and suffering is that they are temporary, even when they feel like they will last forever.  They both eventually come to an end. 
Just as our paths serve a purpose and they are always for our good, suffering always serves a purpose as well.  That is a hard thought to wrap our heads around, especially when it comes to seeing a loved one suffer. Our hearts have a hard time understanding what purpose God could have in allowing suffering. We seldom see the purpose at the time, and sometimes we may never fully understand what the purpose was. God is not a cruel God. He is working everything for our good, and when we come through suffering, we will be stronger on the other side.  When He sets our feet on that rock and gives us a firm place to stand, He knows we need to be ready to stand. The time we spend in suffering is preparation.  There is no stronger person than one that endures suffering and never a more powerful testimony than that of the restored soul. 
God’s promises are real, and our hope is found in those promises, not the circumstances of our lives.  In seasons of suffering, hold fast to His promises. Paths, valleys, and suffering are all part of the process that leads us to the fulfillment of those promises. God is equipping us in these processes for what lies ahead in our own lives and also to help others who suffer in some of the same ways we have. So, when you find yourself questioning God’s timing, wondering where He is when you call to Him, and doubt His promises, know that there is purpose and preparation for the suffering you are going through now.  The fear of the unknown and the heavy suffering of our valleys can all be relieved with the hope and faith of Jesus Christ as our Savior.  Lean on Him. Look to Him.  Relinquish it all to Him. 

Scripture to Claim:
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. 
1 Peter 5:10

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