Lessons of Suffering

As much as we try to avoid pain, we all experience it, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. Just like my son’s broken arm caused him much agony, on the other side of the suffering was great healing and a stronger bone.

In His kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10-11

God always knows what we need, where are weaknesses are, and how to make us stronger in Him. He is far more concerned with our faith level than with our comfort level. He allows things to happen for our good, even though they may cause temporary pain or discomfort.

Please hear me! This is where our ideas of Jesus meet reality. Yes, Jesus is good and kind, and He is love. Yes, in heaven there will be no pain, anguish, or tears. But we aren’t in heaven. We live, as aliens, in a fallen world with desperate and hurting people. Jesus came, in the flesh, and experienced all the same things we experience: hunger, pain, death. We have much to learn from our sufferings!

We learn to comfort others with the same comfort we received in our suffering.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1: 4-5

This comfort brings authenticity to gospel. Loving others with the love of Christ allows people to see love in action. To be the hands of Christ to the hurting is a great honor and privilege.

We learn to let Jesus defend us and intercede on our behalf. Our trust and faith in Christ grow as we surrender our rights and lay down our lives, hopes, desires, for others.We learn who we are in Him and because of Him. Our identity changes from self-focused to other-focused. We let Christ define us!

Lord, help us to see pain in our lives as an opportunity to grow closer to You. Holy Spirit, please reveal any areas of hidden pain or bitterness. Make our foundations firm in Christ. ..amen

#holyspirit #suffering #comfort #lessons #jesus #others #painandsuffering #why #trust #faith #moreofhimlessofme #authenticgospel

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Binder of My Wounds

When my children were little and got hurt, I would scoop them up, hold them close, calm them down, and then we’d face the big bad boo boo.

Whether it was a cut, scrape, splinter, or sting, I would always bend low, bring close, and gently wash away the dirt and fix the hurt. There were hugs and kisses. I can still feel their little heads under my chin and smell the sweat in their hair as they sat on my lap. I would rub their backs and sing songs to help them calm down.

This is Mom101. Sometimes, though, the wounds aren’t physical…and they’re too big for a bandaid and a kiss.

The other night, as I was praying for a dear friend, I was praying that Jesus would bind up her wounds and heal her broken heart. The Lord brought me the most beautiful image of a mother and her child. As the mother comforted the hurt child, I realized how close Jesus has to be to us in our troubles to bind our wounds. Just like when my children were little, Jesus is right there, bending low, ready to scoop us up and hold us close. He washes us clean…white as snow. He sings over us.

I am so thankful for this beautiful reminder of the closeness of our Savior, our suffering Savior who loves to draw us to Himself. He is an intimate lover of our souls. He understands our troubles and is so willing to fix our wounds. Jesus is, indeed, close to the broken-hearted.

Joy and Sorrow

“Sorrow was beautiful, but her beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the wood, and making little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss below. When Sorrow sang, her notes were like the low sweet call of the nightingale, and in her eyes was the unexpectant gaze of one who has ceased to look for coming gladness. She could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to her.

Joy was beautiful, too, but his was the radiant beauty of the summer morning. His eyes still held the glad laughter of childhood, and his hair had the glint of the sunshine’s kiss. When Joy sang his voice soared upward as the lark’s, and his step was the step of a conqueror who has never known defeat. He could rejoice with all who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to him.

“But we can never be united,” said Sorrow wistfully. “No, never.” And Joy’s eyes shadowed as he spoke. “My path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom for my gathering, and the blackbirds and thrushes await my coming to pour forth their most joyous lays.”

“My path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away, “leads through the darkening woods, with moon-flowers only shall my hands be filled. Yet the sweetest of all earth-songs–the love song of the night–shall be mine; farewell, Joy, farewell.”

Even as she spoke they became conscious of a form standing beside them; dimly seen, but of a Kingly Presence, and a great and holy awe stole over them as they sank on their knees before Him.

“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, “for on His Head are many crowns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great victory. Before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness, and I give myself to Him forever.”

“Nay, Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “but I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great agony. I, too, give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy that I have known.”

“Then we are one in Him,” they cried in gladness, “for none but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.” Hand in hand they passed out into the world to follow Him through storm and sunshine, in the bleakness of winter cold and the warmth of summer gladness, “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing.”

– Streams in the Desert

#joyandsorrow #gladness #sweetsorrow #jesus #kingofsorrows #kingofjoy

The Way of Love

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:1‬

Do I follow the way of love? Do I eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit?

As I seek intimacy with Lord as I never have before…as I surrender to His call for more of me…I am beginning to realize that I am following the way of love. As He pours into me, I can pour into others. I can’t pour from an empty vessel.

As I’m following the way of love, I am desiring the gifts of the Spirit…as the Spirit works through me, I am empowered by His gifts of love, mercy, and discernment, but I want more…more of Him. Because the gifts are always about glorifying the Father and living the gospel message for others. Love God…love others.

Help me to follow the way of love Lord. Empower me with Your gifts Holy Spirit. Help me to be bold and brave with them to love those You bring into my life…I’m Jesus’s name Amen

#holyspirit #freedominchrist #dontbeafraid #faith #openhands #kingdom #trust #layitdown #fathersheart #gifts #love #follow #way

Permission

“This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭

As I walk through a difficult part of my life, I’ve come to need the Holy Spirit more and more. Like never before…my thirst for His presence is not quenched with what I received yesterday…I need a fresh taste for this day.

As much as I’ve struggled and stumbled through the unknowns of this season in my life, I’ve been given this opportunity to experience an intimacy with and dependency on the Holy Spirit that I never would have if I hadn’t been driven to my knees.

In my brokeness, I reached out and asked for His presence…for His fruit, for His gifts…all of it! It was scary and a bit weird…awkward even…but we have a good good Father in heaven that LOVES to give good gifts to His children!

Have you asked for His presence…His anointing…His baptism…His fruit…His gifts? He is so generous with Himself…to spare nothing to save us…to spare nothing to be near us!

I am convinced that if we want to see the Holy Spirit move in power then we have to give Him permission to move in our lives…surrender whatever it is that is stopping you…fear, pride, past hurts…even other well meaning people…

So often we say we want to be disciples of Jesus…to walk and love as He did, but we stop just short of really giving ourselves to Him…to truly inviting Him into those secret places. We’ll gladly invite Him to save us, but not to lead us.

Great and powerful miracles await us when we invite the Holy Spirit to fill and consume us. That we may live a new life in resurrection power for the same power that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us! Give Him permission to move!

#vulnerability #freedominchrist #dontbeafraid #surrender #trust #layitdown #fathersheart #faith #holyspirit #scaryprayers #openhands #kingdom #permissiontomove #movement #giftsofthespirit #fruitofthespirit #intimacywithgod

Forgiveness and Freedom

Forgiveness is a gift I want so badly from others when I’ve messed up and hurt those I love. And yet, forgiveness is something I have such a hard time giving when I’ve been hurt.

Oftentimes, I’ll think I have forgiven an offense, but something will trigger an emotion or remind me of a past hurt and the unforgiving comes roaring out like a lion. It can be scary. The power of unforgiving is consuming. It becomes a prison.

Jesus commands us to forgive because He has forgiven us of our sins. This forgiveness isn’t to let the offender off the hook, but to let us out of the prison of unforgiveness and shame. Christ came to bring freedom. To bring life. Life abundantly. Forgiveness finds freedom!

#forgiveness #freedom #christ

Tremendous Collision

The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God. – Chambers

I love this quote! I’m a visual person and this paragraph always makes me think of a the dramatic ending of a superhero movie where the hero sacrifices his life for others.

Of course, the Cross was no movie and Jesus did lay His life down to save us. The Father’s heart was revealed in this plan of redemption…this bringing us back home.

How we can so easily forget the great price You paid for us!!!

May we never forget all it cost You to save us from our sin. For those who have forgotten, remind them. Forgive me Lord for forgetting and neglecting the gift of salvation you’ve given. Shake us out of the doldrums where we’ve been lulled to sleep by the shiney things of this world that distract and temp us away from the best You have for us. Speak loudly to those who think they know more than You with high sounding philosophical arguments but yet speak no good thing. Help us to love and live as Your precious Son did. In Jesus’ name amen.

#cost #confidence #wakemeup #fathersheart #collision