1 Peter 3:14-15 (NASB) --- But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
I don't like suffering at all. Yet it is a part of life. We have had people around us who have hurt for so many reasons. Some of the reasons were self inflicted. Choices were made that led to the results of suffering physically, emotionally or even spiritually. Some suffering comes for no reason at all. Such was the case of Job.
The verse above has been running through my mind since late last week. It was part of my sermon this past Sunday. It talks about God working in our lives when we seek Him and want Him. Yet suffering will still happen. What do we do when suffering comes to us?
The first or maybe most natural happening is fear and worry. See the verse above. God's first word to us is not to worry but let Him work in our lives.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) --- Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
That verse has brought comfort to me for 2 decades. It has also brought me back to reality. When pain comes, stop worrying and start trusting. When you suffer, stop blaming and start believing. No, that is not easy, but faith is just that, a God thing and not a human or natural thing. To trust God is out of context for the person who lives by what they feel.
What happens when we trust God? We gain perspective over our situation. We gain help in the situation because we stop throwing junk and start leaning on God. Plus, it gives us something to share with others we encounter who are suffering or going through times that are hard to understand.
We find ourselves at The Community being able to talk with lots of people and almost all of them are going through pain and suffering. It is only when we get honest about our own pain that we can help others who are going through pain.
So, begin to share from where you are, from where you hurt and from how good God is working. That will change your lives and the lives of people who hear your story and as they see God through your life.
Stop worrying. Start trusting. Stop blaming and start believing. God is working in your life. Let Him!