As I have talked about to pretty much anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me this summer, God is doing a major work in my life and that work is all about learning to trust Him!
First, I had to find out that I didn’t really trust Him…
then I had to find out why not…
then I had to seek His Word to reconcile how I felt with what I say I believe…
and now I get up every morning to face the situations that will drive those truths deeper and deeper into my inner being.
This is what is on my mind as I think about a situation I am having to face right now! I want to share this because I think it’s a good example of how truth can meet us in the middle of suffering.
Last year around this time, I had to have a medical procedure. I am not a wimp at all when it comes to pain, but this was a bad situation, and it took me awhile to get over it emotionally and physically. Yesterday, I went back to the surgeon and I have to have another similar surgery. It isn’t going to be in an emergency setting like last time, so I am grateful for that, but still, I’m really having a hard time accepting that I have to “go there” again. All of a sudden, I physically feel tired and like I want to cry all the time. It’s really affecting me!
But part of what I’ve been learning in this “trust process” is that a large amount of the pain we feel in suffering is our fear of it. This is the part that gets me pretty fired up. See, the enemy wants us to get caught up in being angry at God when we suffer, but the truth is that fear comes from Satan and it does not have to be a part of our suffering experience. The part of suffering we can have power over, the part of suffering God is cheering us on to take power over, is here in our inner man. A spirit of fear does not have to accompany us in the trials of life; we can resist against his lies, and walk in freedom in the middle of the circumstance.
So that’s the part of suffering we can do battle against…but I believe there’s also a part of suffering we are encouraged to accept.
A large part of the pain we feel in suffering is our rejection of it.
Think of Job. Think of Jesus. Think of John. Think of Paul. They all understood that their suffering was allowed very purposefully and strategically by God, and while they were real and honest about the pain, they accepted it. They took the cup and drank it. They weren’t shocked by it, and they didn’t act like they were somehow too good for it. They wanted their suffering to achieve every high purpose God had in mind for it.