Friday, May 14, 2010

Called for the Purpose of Suffering...?

At 25, I have not gone through much hardship in my life. Happily married with a son, both parents, all siblings, and both sets of grandparents living. I've grown up in America, which automatically makes me more wealthy than a huge percentage of the world.

I've been reading about David and admiring his responses in stressful situations--his integrity as he is being pursued by a king who wants to kill him. Thinking about the sufferings that molded him--hard work from a young age, living on the run, constant war, evil men.

Peter says, "You have been called for this purpose {the patient endurance of mistreatment}, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you and example for you to follow in His steps."*

I know that suffering and hardship in this life (and particularly as a follower of Jesus) is inevitable. It's coming. How will I respond? I hope and pray I respond like Betsie ten Boom, who thanked God for the fleas that infested her concentration camp bed and prayed for her prison guards.

How have hard times molded you? Did God feel nearby or far away when you were pressed? How did you respond?

*1 Peter 2:21
This post is linked to Company Girl Coffee.


  1. Inevitably, no matter how hard I kick and scream and yell at God for the hard times, it always draws me closer in the end. Recently, I lost my grandmother and I found myself distanced from God. I think I was just so wrapped up in my grief that I could do nothing but sit in it. Slowly, though, He has coaxed me back and I have had so many questions to ask Him.

  2. Oh this is SO good! You know, I have had lots of hard times in my life - and while most of them have been character building - there have been those moments where I nursed seeds of bitterness - and WOW did that cause a LOT of harm. It really comes to JUST BELIEVING that God will do as He says in Romans 8:28 and allow any circumstance into His Hands so HE can bring good out of it. We may not see the good here on earth, but we can TRUST that HE will make it good for eternity. That's a lesson I'm learning - even of late - and am so thankful for a PATIENT, loving Lord who grows me up with the stuff of life.

  3. I've not handled hard times as well as I could have if I'd been fully trusting God. I truly regret that fact. But I have also never lost anyone close to me yet. I know the day will come though, and I commend you for seeking to prepare your soul.

  4. I have had my share of hard times, but looking back they always have drawn me closer to the Lord and molded me into His character. We are told to welcome the tests and trials because they produce Godly character! I am sure that whatever comes your way, He will guide you. And as a dear friend in Christ always told us, if you fail a test of God, he always gives you a retake!

  5. It is in those hard times that God shapes us and uses us to teach us or to show others how we can get through. Grea tpost!

  6. @Jen: I am sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I had a similar experience of "sitting in my grief" (although I'm sure at a lesser level)when I got news of my husband's pending year long deployment. All of a sudden I realized how much I wasn't actually trusting God.
    @Debbi: I am thankful that God grows us up. I think of Moses, who God was disciplining up to the moment he died.
    @Aiming4Simple: Trusting God is so easy in theory, but not so much in reality sometimes. I hope I can follow Jesus' example in entrusting my soul to God.
    @Stephanie: Thank you sooo much for your response! I went to your blog and was very touched as I read about your husband's illness. You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you again for having such a good attitude and setting an example. :)
    @Sherry: Thanks for the encouragement!
    I appreciate each of your responses. :)


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