Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting


From the book God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer:
"Christians are quick to spread glory stories, but disappointments tend to be brushed under the carpet because we don't want to discourage anyone at church or be a bad commercial at work. But God isn't like us. He doesn't get insecure about His performance, and He never asks us to cover up for Him."

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Choking on Anxiety

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"Certainly virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue."
--Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)

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Contentment is not freedom from desire, but freedom of desire. To be content is not pretending that everything is the way you wish it would be, nor is it acting as though you have no wishes. Rather, it is no longer being ruled by your desires.
-- John Eldridge

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1 Peter 1:3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials,
7so that the genuineness of your faith-being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

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How, after all this time, can I still be "of little faith?"
What a humbling realization

I know I am saved
I believe who God is

Do I believe Him? What He says?

Oh loving Father of mine
I confess my little faith

Enlarge it to believe your promises
to believe I'm more important than the lilies of the field
that the hairs of my head really are numbered
and that worry will do me no good

Help me to see the world and my physical life as temporal as it is
and to store up treasures in heaven

Help the eyes of my heart to be enlightened
so that I may believe all Your promises and all that all that You say is true

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Most Christians, want the product of Paul's life (his maturity), but not the process of his life (the suffering).
--Dr. Roger Spradlin

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Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.
Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett

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The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust--not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. ...suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.
--Brennan Manning

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Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

\ / Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

Saturday, October 7, 2006


"Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?"
-- Numbers 11:11

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our
faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of
fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the
diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can
only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the
business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's
faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits
are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A
faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his
servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces
of his people, which are his own handiwork. When "tribulation worketh
patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is
honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of
the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the
grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet
perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the
warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and
power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which
his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend
also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to
bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in
heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth?
Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after
toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of
the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question
with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day

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Prayer of Abandonment – Charles de Foucauld

I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

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