"Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." ~ John 8:32

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Furnace of Suffering

Are you suffering?  Do you find yourself in a situation that is causing you great pain, either physical or emotional, or both?  Are you afraid of what tomorrow may bring?

No one likes to suffer.  We were not created to suffer.  We were created to enjoy God in all of His fullness and to live in joy and peace.  But sin entered the world and thwarted our original destiny. Hence, our suffering.

But suffering is not the end of the story.  Jesus Christ came to deliver us from suffering. The Word of God says that Christ died and rose again from the dead "to destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8).  Jesus Christ came to give us abundant life (John 10:10).

So, why do we continue to suffer?

One reason is that we are still in this world, and the world is infested with sin.  But I believe that the main reason for our continued suffering is to bring us to the point of total dependence on God.

We humans create for ourselves bastions of false security in which we place our trust.  We trust our jobs to give us security. We trust our governments to give us security. We trust our own strength to give us security.  But there is nothing and there is no one who can give us security but God.

The Lord uses suffering to unfasten our tight grip on our false securities.  He wants us to depend totally on Him. But we are so attached to our false securities that God must sometimes use drastic means to wrench us from them.  Hence, we suffer.

Are you now in the furnace of suffering? Then rejoice! God is pruning you, cleansing you, purifying you.  He is transforming you into the image of His own dear Son. 

Be encouraged by these words from our wonderful heavenly Father: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).

Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All rights reserved.
Photo by Jon Sullivan. http://www.public-domain-photos.com/

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