Self inflicted misery to bear
8. Pruning to strengthen us
Lots of things which were not pleasant happened in this world. Many people had to suffer so much for nothing. We may be sure it has not been for nothing. No matter what happens we may not give up our hope which will be greatly rewarded. (Galatians 3:4; Hebrews 10:35)
“However, continue to remember the earlier days when you were first illuminated, and then you endured a great contest of sufferings. Indeed, you were observed as in a theatre participating with those sharing the same things. For you sympathized with those in prison bonds. With joy you plundered your own possessions, realizing you possess a better piece of property which will always remain. Therefore, you should not cast off your bold outspokenness which has a great reward to be paid it. For you need to have endurance so that having done the will of The God you might capture the Promise.” (Hebrews 10:32-39 MHM)
We may not forget the encouraging words which God speaks to us as His sons and daughters. Observing God’s kindness we should see how He guides us through life and how He corrects us. Though men do not love it when they are corrected we should not be discouraged when He rebukes us. Because the Lord corrects everyone He loves, and punishes everyone He accepts as His child.
Enduring what we suffer as being a father’s punishment would not be such a bad idea, because than our suffering shows that God is treating us as His children. Was there ever a child who was not punished by his father? If you are not punished, as all his children are, it means you are not real children, but bastards. In the case of our human fathers, they punished us and we respected them. How much more, then, should we submit to our spiritual Father and live!
Our human fathers punished us for a short time, as it seemed right to them; but we should know that God does it for our own good, so that we may share His holiness. When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life.
“So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet!” (Hebrews 12:5-12 Message)
When we do have to undergo suffering let us take it up as our training in this temporary world. When we receive correction from God let us pay close attention and take it as a warning. Jehovah corrects those He loves, as parents correct a child of whom they are proud.
“My son, despise not the chastening of Jehovah; Neither be weary of his reproof: For whom Jehovah loveth he reproveth; Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:11-12 ASV)
So let us in a way be happy when we can hear an exhortation which reasons with us as with sons. Let us not become so depressed or pulled down that we faint when we are reproved of the One and Only who can have everything in hand. Though people think they can do something bad to us, they shall never be able to kill our deepest soul. Only the One from above shall be able to give us eternal life.
He is the One who can shout to us or give chastening or instruction for our profit. So we should not resent God’s discipline or sulk under His loving correction.
“But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die.” (Ezekiel 18:24 KJBPNV)
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6 KJBPNV)
- The agony of true worship (pastorayres.wordpress.com)
We must find a way to understand the difference between idol worship in the name of God and true worship.2 Corinthians 12:99And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
All throughout scripture we find that worship involves a great cost and sacrifice. Here in Paul’s request to have his suffering removed He finds that God would rather him go on living with his suffering as an enablement to worship God. This enablement results in better praise and more effective work for Christ. For a man who spent most of his Christian walk under fire, in jail, fleeing for his life, in suffering, being beaten, being arrested he still needed to learn more brokenness in order for God to receive full glory.
Is it possible that our suffering purifies our response to a holy God from pride, arrogance, pretension, selfishness, and competition?
From the pain experienced by the first animal’s innocent death to the pain and fear of Adam and eve hiding in the garden, our ancient progenitors found their expulsion from the garden costly.
Pain and suffering causes inequalities between men to vanish. The trauma room of ER’s to the suffering in chairs outside ICU wards, to the paneled walls of funeral homes people find equality in suffering. No pride and selfishness exists. No pretence or bigotry can thrive.
Ask yourself about the suffering that bears your celebration and exaltation of God. May you find the absolution in true worship of God, the maturing of your walk and the power that rested upon Paul which only finds existence through our death to self, our acknowledgement of our inabilities, our weakness, our utter lostness, and moral defeat.
- The Agony of Defeat (idkh.org)
There is nothing permanent it this world. The only thing permanent is change. So, when we fail and feel the agony of defeat, look at it as if it is something that we have to experience in life and after a while it will be gone.we may sometimes fail and taste the agony of defeat, but that is normal. We are not yet perfect. We try to be perfect but failures come along the way. But those failures must not stop us from achieving what God has planned for us. We are all unfinished work of God.
- Pierced! (devotionsandblessings.wordpress.com)
O my soul, look at Jesus!
He is your Substitute.
He is there for you!
He is suffering death for you!
He is bearing the desert of your sins in His body on the tree!
He is enduring your curse, being made accursed for you!He is revealing . . .
what is in man’s nature,
what is in God’s heart, and
what He is willing to do and suffer–rather than I should perish!
- God Isn’t Punishing You (ruthiedean.com)
Ruthie Dean continually struggles to believe God has her best interest in mind. “Because sometimes life’s circumstances just seem plain unfair – even unbearable. I’ve caught myself thinking of God as cruel taskmaster, thinking “I told her not to” as He sends down punishment from heaven.” she writes.God takes pleasure in giving you GRACE abundantly. He is longing to bless you – in the midst of trials and suffering and persecution and confusion – because He is a good Dad.Psalms 103:11 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Not because we are good, but because He is.
- God cares for our hurts. The God who hears each heartbeat also hears the cry of every broken heart. He is not a God who is faraway and watching over the clouds, untouched by our miseries or unaware of our limitations. He knows our frailty. He knows our frustrations, and He has shared in our deepest griefs.