Saturday, April 9, 2016

Strength in Suffering

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In another article, I discussed how some people will turn their backs on God because of disappointment in their lives, whether trivial, expecting God to be a cosmic wish-granting genie, bringing problems upon themselves and then blaming God, or from serious hardships. Some find excuses to suppress the truth of God, preferring their own sin and pride to submission to their Creator. There are others who seek God in the midst of their hardships and remain faithful. See "Pain, Disappointment, and Apostasy".

There are people who blame God for their problems that are real, trivial, or brought upon themselves. Others, such as "June", praise God in the midst of suffering and remain faithful.
Image credit: Pixabay /jill111
Paul the apostle had hardships (for example, see 2 Cor. 11:16-33, Acts 4:19-20), and you'd think that if he was relying on his own strength, he'd be quite willing to say, "Too much! I'm taking the next stage outta Dodge!" In Second Corinthians, he wrote, "By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively. Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me. He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong." (12:7-10, World English Bible).

Recently, I was communicating with a woman I'll call June. Aside from a bit of editing, I'll let you tell her story:
I am just over 34. I like animals; dogs, cats, horses, giraffe, things like that. Yellow is my favorite color with dark green as a second and light purple as a third. I love music maybe one day I will learn the piano and harp.  
Now that the simple is done on to more important things.

I became a believer at 9. I was born with several medical problems, lack of medical knowledge did not give a good prognosis then. I have CHARGE syndrome which is an acronymn that is impossible to remember, essentially it involves the eyes, ears, and digestive track as well as heart and lungs. I have bilateral coloboma in my eyes and am legally blind so cannot drive, reading can be tricky best not to have all caps, bizarre colors or overly small fonts. My left ear is deaf. I also have several autoimmune disorders Lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, arthritis, anemia, fibromyalgia, and celiac, that would all take too long to explain, I have mild cerebral palsy and scoliosisI can walk (as good as any healthy 65 year old). As a child I had several surgeries and feeding tubes. I am very loyal to my friends, I can get very defensive of them, never make a short girl angry. Apart of it is having a mother's heart, if the LORD has me marry I hope to adopt children.
June has not only remained faithful to Jesus, but is also a biblical creationist. She added that people putting forth "old earth nonsense offends us with medical problems. We do not serve a cruel God, and evolutionists tend to see us as disposable". How true! Atheists and evolutionists look for utilitarian and pragmatism. (For instance, they search for reasons for beauty in nature, waving off the remote possibility that God gave them for our benefit!) It is evolutionary thinking that gave us eugenics, after all.

This woman has had many difficulties throughout her life, including childhood surgeries and things she has to deal with even now. She has a heart for the gospel, praising God, helping other Christians, and is very pro-life. Some people would rage at God, forgetting that we're in a fallen world (Rom. 8:22, Rom. 5:12) that was originally perfect (Gen. 1:31). All will be made new, and death will be defeated (2 Peter 3:5-10, Rev. 21:1-4, 1 Cor. 15:26). People who look to themselves and their own strength will have disappointment in life, but when we focus on life in Jesus, we have tremendous hope — and our strength is in him.

Please share this article so others can be encouraged. I'm going to conclude with a gospel song that June likes:


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