Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A time to suffer

Maybe I have been going about this all wrong. If you’re like me, when your do your devotion (and if you don't, now would be a good time to start), God speaks really loudly. The thing He talked to me about today was a time to suffer and His promises. Like those things even go together, huh? So think about Joseph suffering for 13 years before God pulled him out. He showed up in Egypt at 17 and God began to make him into a leader. Now Joseph went through some suffering, and if you don't believe me, you can read it for yourself in Genesis 37-41. That's a lot of the Bible being taken up by this man's story of suffering. What I learned today was our suffering only lasts as long as necessary for God to accomplish His purpose. He wants to equip and mold His followers more than He wants to provide them with a carefree life. Yet He loves His children and is with them in their suffering. 
Now about His promises: He is the God of limitless resources. We are the ones that bring in the limits. "Our requests, thoughts and prayers are too small, and our expectations too low!" Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” So I'm not asking for big enough, or it's big enough, I just expect too little? While I wait, I am suffering. Now stay with me on this suffering. Suffering doesn't always have to be about bleeding and pain or lack of something like money. It can be about not selling a house or watching your children make the wrong decisions. Suffering causes stress and discomfort, and I, for one, get grouchy! It also has the tendency to throw us into fear and worry. Jesus said, "Peace I bring to you," not for us to be about the business of fear and worry!  
So here's my thought: God is molding me and equipping me for future ministry, and He is teaching me through suffering and relying on Him and Him alone. Until I learn that lesson, I will suffer through the selling of this house. He will sell this house, because He is calling us into ministry in Rogers, Arkansas. He has promised to always be with us and calls us His Beloved. God is accomplishing His purpose in me, just like he did in Joseph. So I can wait on God's timing. I just pray it doesn't take 13 years!

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