Tag Archive | personal suffering and hardship

Isaiah 53:3 ” He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.”

We are not “acquainted with grief” in the same way Jesus Christ was.  When illness, injury, or affliction strikes us…we suck it up, endure, and just live through it, waiting for it to end.  But Jesus faced sorrow head-on…knowing intimately what it was to suffer.  He very plainly explained to His disciples in Luke 18:31-33 how He would be mocked, insulted, spit on, flogged, and killed…personally taking on and experiencing all the pent-up evil of this world.  We taste suffering and sorrow…but Jesus is intimate with them.

Romans 8:18 ” I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

For many of you today this Scripture may be difficult to accept.  That’s because today you’re right smack-dab in the middle of trials, suffering, loss, injury, or sickness…and the idea that any light and momentary trouble is achieving in you eternal glory that far outweighs any trouble you’re going through is just a little too hard to take. (II Corinthians 4:17)  Or that you should be rejoicing that you can participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. (I Peter 4:13)  In this verse God is not discounting your suffering…your loss…the traumatic experience you’re going through right now.  Rather, He understands and He’s giving you the  grace and endurance to persevere through it.

Lamentations 3:19-20 ” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.”

In these verses Jeremiah is dejected and overwhelmed by the suffering he is witnessing in Jerusalem.  In his head he was acknowledging God’s sovereignty…but he was still confused and disheartened by all the destruction around him.  We’re the same way in the middle of trials.  We know that God is there and in control…but when we’re overcome by it all,  it’s hard  to remain rational.  Jeremiah was honestly laying all his feelings, concerns and complaints before his Heavenly Father, knowing that God would listen and not judge.  And today we too have that same opportunity to speak candidly and openly to God without fear of retribution.

Genesis 31:42 ” If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would of surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night He rebuked you.”

Jacob had worked for his father-in-law, Laban, for 20 difficult years.  But despite all the wrongful things done to him, Jacob knew God was watching over and defending him.  We sometimes feel like God doesn’t see the injustices inflicted upon us…or the suffering we’ve endured at the hands of others.  But He does, for God is with us not only in everything we do…but He also sees all the injustices that have been done to us.  We just need to remember that the battle is His, and He will defend and vindicate us.

Psalm 69:29 ” I am in pain and distress; may Your salvation, O God, protect me.”

Suffering, grief, troubles, and pain are all part of the human experience.  No one is exempt.  So if we know this will happen in our life…why does it sometimes take a while to give these burdens to the Lord rather than shouldering them alone?  The Psalmist here is crying out to the Lord for protection and deliverance…realizing, that only God can help him.    The time to give our troubles  to the Lord is long before we’ve come to the end of ourselves…when desperation, hopelessness, and despair have taken over our life.  If you’re in this place today,  I pray Psalm 20:1-5  over you now,  “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.  May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.  May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.  May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.  May the Lord grant all your requests.”   Amen.

James 1:2-3 ” Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

The only way you can become really good at something is to practice…whether it’s a sport, a musical instrument, or a newly discovered talent,  without practice, it’s just wishful thinking.  Today, this Scripture wants us to take a new and different attitude when faced with the trials in our lives.  It wants us to consider trials  as practice.  Every time we’re put to the test, we need to realized it’s a God-ordained crucible in which we are being purified.  In other words, trials equal refining…trials equal developing patience…trials equal suffering in the faith…trials are a chance to practice what we preach.

II Timothy 2:3 ” Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

If you’ve been in any form of the military, or defended your country in any capacity…I want to personally thank you for your service.  For I know many of you have never been recognized and appreciated for what you did.  It takes a certain character make-up to be a good soldier…a certain firm stand and persistence to face adversity day in and day out…a certain firm determination to get the mission done.  By the time Paul wrote this second letter to Timothy he was well acquainted with the life of a soldier…for he wrote this letter from prison.  So Paul  couldn’t help but watch the Roman soldiers as they worked around him…drawing inspiration from their mindset and resolve.  This is why he exhorted Timothy to be a good soldier…enduring hardship, fighting the good fight, and holding on to his faith until his mission was accomplished.