God’s Love is Better than Life

I don’t know about you, but I would like to stay away from suffering. And I don’t mean, just look the other way, but I mean, I want to run as far away as possible. Even when we talk about it during Bible studies, I don’t like to think about it. Reading about Joseph’s patience and faithfulness during his time as a slave in Egypt, reading letters from Paul from prison about how he would like to go to be with Christ but his work isn’t done here on earth. He literally has a captive audience in prison to share Jesus and he DOES! I don’t think my attitude would be very good, nor do I look at opportunities as ways I could share the glory of Jesus.

Ironically, a few months ago, our small group and my ladies Bible study were both studying about suffering. Some in the context of ways in which I have suffered or how God has worked through those sufferings, but also how we sometimes experience suffering to be drawn closer to God. Let me explain…

If God gave me the fullness of something earthly, I would fall into the trap of self-sufficiency and not continue to seek Him because I would think I could handle it by myself. Maybe that’s just me, but self-sufficiency and pride can definitely show up in my life more often than I want to admit. If I turn to people to fill voids in my life and I think they are everything I want, I tend to forget about my relationship with God. But I forget that people will fail me because they are not perfect, no matter how good they are. God wants me to remember that only HE can meet EVERY one of my needs without even draining His resources at all. He wants me to remember to rely on Him, so there are times when my suffering is because of my own earthly desires conflicting with God’s ultimate goodness.

In one of the studies, someone shared a story about how a woman was put into prison for something she didn’t do. She was only there for a few days while they sorted out the situation, and the other inmates saw she clearly didn’t belong there. Rather than freaking out or sulking about her situation, she saw eagerness in the women’s eyes around her and she realized this situation was her opportunity to share the gospel with these women. She had a few days and she brought women to Christ who needed to hear Truth. Wow! What a testimony for someone who was put in a situation, not by her choice, and brought glory to God’s kingdom through it.

So the challenge for myself (and you) is to stop looking at disruptions, difficult situations or even suffering as inconveniences to quickly move past, but ask God how He is wanting to use me (and you)…

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