Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting

27May/10Off

Reading Biographies

From Randy Alcorn on Facebook:

I encourage you to read biographies of missionaries and reformers, of people such as Martin Luther, William Carey, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Harriet Tubman and countless others. You’ll find the pages riddled with suffering, all of which God used to build their characters and expand their ministries. These stories inspire and challenge us to say no to time-wasting trivia, seize the day and invest in what matters.

If you've read any that encouraged you please let me know. I've read very few.

14May/10Off

Quote of the Day: Preparing

Before difficult times come your way, develop habits of studying God’s Word, listening to Christ-centered teaching and music, and reading soul-nourishing literature, both nonfiction and fiction. Daily fill the reservoir from which you can draw when facing difficult times—and helping others face theirs. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).

--Randy Alcorn, via Facebook

Colossians 1:11-12 NRSV
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

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21Apr/10Off

Motto for Troubles

"Expect troubles as being usual; accept them as being usable. They open a gateway to the grace of God."
--Dave Black

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19Feb/10Off

Quote of the Day: Why?

I do believe that focusing on “Why?” questions can lead to confusion and despair if we demand answers from God that He has not promised to give us.

--David Sunday (pastor of Grace Community Bible Church)

You can read the end of the book of Job to see that God doesn't answer why in that situation and often doesn't.

See the context at Between Two Worlds

As David Sunday says, we should ask, '“Who is God?” “What does He want to teach us?” and “How can we glorify him in this?”'

(I'm not so sure God always tells us what He wants to teach us either.)

This reminds me of a quote I've posted before:

"But what kept me going more than anything else was my confidence in the character of God."

--Ravi Zacharias quoting Charles Cooper

3Feb/10Off

The Thorn

by Martha Snell Nicholson

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

HT: Justin Taylor

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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1Feb/10Off

Quote on Suffering

Jesus: “Some of you they will put to death. . . . But not a hair of your head will perish.”

For decades, this verse has challenged me personally. Derek Kidner in his commentaries often refers to it. It shows that modern people have a view of happiness that is defined as a life that is going well, when often the Bible defines happiness as a life that is lived well. One ounce of sin can harm us more than ten tons of suffering, because sin ruins our soul, while suffering (if handled well) only makes us more Christ-like and joyful. So Jesus is essentially saying, “I won’t keep you from suffering, but I’ll keep you in suffering so you can triumph over it.”

--Tim Keller

See more context at Justin Taylor's blog.

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2Jan/10Off

Charles Spurgeon on Worrying

A Word for Worriers at Between Two Worlds

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28Oct/09Off

Hope For Heaven

For the Christian, death is not the end of adventure but a doorway to a world where dreams and adventures forever expand. No matter how bad the present, an eternity with Christ in Heaven will be incomparably better. So if God thinks the whole thing is worth it—and we know it will be worth it to us once we reach Heaven—then why not affirm by faith, even in the midst of suffering, that it’s worth it now?

--Randy Alcorn via Facebook

The key to this for me is "by faith". In the middle of the worst of it, I just want out. Hope for heaven isn't really any comfort. But I just have to believe that it really will have been worth it even though I can't fathom it right now.

Romans 8:18

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27Oct/09Off

The Suffering God

The fact that the second member of the triune God suffered unimaginable torture on the cross should explode any notion that God lacks feelings. In the suffering of Jesus, God himself suffered. No one who grasps this truth can say, “God doesn’t understand my suffering.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a Nazi prison camp, “Only the suffering God can help.”

--Randy Alcorn via Facebook

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28Jun/09Off

Discount Personal Feelings

Tim Challies offers us a quote from Jim Andrew’s Polishing God’s Monuments.

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7Jun/09Off

Suffering and What's Important

Suffering has a way of reminding us which things in life really matter, forcing us to depend radically on God, and thus purifying our obedience to God's will.

--Craig Keener, The NIV Application Commentary: Revelation

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26Dec/08Off

When we suffer…

Will There Also Be Faith?

See others here.

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6Dec/08Off

Funny Dog Picture

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12Nov/08Off

Power and Priority of the Word

We all know that life is filled with painful, heart wrenching experiences. Sometimes these experiences are spread out and sometimes they occur concurrently. The question is never ‘if’ but ‘when’ we think of pain and suffering. After all, we live in a cursed world.

...

Maturity does not happen overnight. It takes time. However, when folks are built up in, sustained by, and clinging to the Word of God they are mountains in the church of God. They stand with confident assurance in the steadfast love of the Lord God.

--Irish Calvinist Blog

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6Nov/08Off

Quote by Richard Baxter

He never brings them (the saints) into so low a condition that he does not leave them more cause of joy than sorrow.

-- Richard Baxter

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18Oct/08Off

"Have A Nice Day"

'Have a nice day' is like a threat to an Irish person. I'll have whatever kind of day I want. You mind your own business.

--Tommy Tiernan, Comedian, on how often he hears this phrase in the U.S.

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14Oct/08Off

Our Deepest Need

God Must Have Died

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16Sep/08Off

My Redeemer Is Faithful And True

by Steven Curtis Chapman

As I look back on the road I've travelled,
I see so many times He carried me through;
And if there's one thing that I've learned in my life,
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

CHORUS
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My heart rejoices when I read the promise
'There is a place I am preparing for you.'
I know someday I'll see my Lord face to face,
'Cause my Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

And in every situation He has proved His love to me;
When I lack the understanding, He gives more grace to me.

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26Jun/08Off

Little Is Much

Little Is Much

What is the measure of a life well lived
If all I can offer seems too small to give
This is a song for the weaker, the poorer
And so-called failures

Little is much when God's in it
And no one can fathom the plans He holds
Little is much when God's in it
He changes the world with the seeds we sow
Little is much, little is much

Who feels tired and under-qualified
Who feels deserted, and hung out to dry
This is a song for the broken, the beat-up
And so-called losers

Consider a Kingdom in the smallest seed
Consider that giants fall to stones and slings
Consider a child in a manger
Consider the story isn't over
What can be done with what you still have

--Downhere, Wide Eyed and Mystified

Download the album for free.

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19May/08Off

Spurgeon on Suffering

Please see the section related to Spurgeon:
Transparency: ...and more good... (part 2 of 3)
and follow the links if you have time. They are well worth reading.

Here is a quote from Spurgeon:

Is not this the reason why God’s servants are made to pass through so many trials, that they may really learn many truths not otherwise to be apprehended? Do we learn much in sunny weather? Do we not profit most in stormy times? Have you not found it so — that your sick-bed — your bereavement — your depression of spirit, has instructed you in many matters which tranquillity and delight have never whispered to you? I suppose we ought: to learn as much by joy as by sorrow, and I hope that many of my Lord’s better servants do so; but, alas! others of us do not; affliction has to be called in to whip the lesson into us.

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