A great habit I have established lately is daily Bible reading with a friend of mine. We started in Matthew and we read 2 chapters each day. When we have time to connect, we discuss what we read. Last night we read Mark 26 and 27, which covers the last supper and crucifixion.
A couple of verses really hit me …
“My should is crushed with grief to the point of death” Matthew 26:38a
“My Father! If it is possible let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:38b
“My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Matthew 42b
What is your cup of suffering right now? Your marriage? Your health?
I have found myself crying out to God. Surely He does not desire for me to live in constant stress and heartbreak. But am I pushing away my own cup of suffering?
Sometimes I really don’t think things can get any worse. Surely that is a sign that I should just pack up and get out while I can. But God keeps reminding me that he has not led me here just to abandon me.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
The harder that life gets, the more that I cling to God and the more I find myself delving into the Bible desperately looking for answers. Maybe it took the complete upheaval of my life and marriage for God to draw me closer to him. Maybe I am being prepared for something. Maybe I really will come out of this stronger, and not broken.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
For some reason I always assumed that when the Bible talks about suffering it was referring to physical punishment. The early saints faced imprisonment, torture, crucifixion, being stoned, being burned alive … But I think the suffering that we are facing today come in many different forms, attacks on our children, attacks on our marriage. The question is are we will to stand up for our faith and what we know is right when the suffering is unbearable?
Its definitely not fun to go through suffering. It can feel like it is crushing your soul. Instead of focusing on whatever it is in our lives that is pulling us down, fix your eyes on the one who has promised he is walking every step of that painful journey with us.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
This is day 28 in the series 31 Days Of Learning To Be Positive. Click here to check out the entire series.