My greatest, and most overriding desire in all forms of trials I face, is no longer that they would be removed but rather that they would not be wasted. If God would be pleased to use suffering to make me more like my Lord Jesus Christ, and if He would refine me in the fiery trials in a way that would bring Him glory and draw men and woman, boys and girls to Him, then I will rejoice in my sufferings. I might trip and fall along the way, and find myself in doubt and sorrow, but this I know: by Christ’s power He will be certain to bring me back to a place where I can rejoice and thank Him, even for my pain. This I know, because He has done it for me time and time again and because His word assures me it is true.
I may sound bold, and strong to say this, but I can assure you I am the farthest thing from it. If you knew how fiercely I have fought in the past against temptation, and how close I have come to caving in to it and heeding the advice of Job’s wife “Curse God and die (Job 2:10),” then you would know that I am nothing but a weak and empty vessel, in desperate need of God. The only reason I can say such things as above is because of the slow and painful work God has done in me.
How pleased I am that God saw fit to bring trials into my life, when I thought that I was strong, and when I stood in shallow faith. What a gracious and awesome God I serve, that He would treat me like a daughter! I thank God that He would not withhold from me that which “for the moment…seems painful rather than pleasant, but later…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Continue reading What I’ve Learned Lately Through Suffering: Speaking Openly and Honestly From The Heart