Why Suffering is Good for You - Encouragement for Your Soul

Originally published Monday, 05 January 2015.

Sometimes life hits hard. It crashes into a million little pieces.  What do we do when anxiety mounts, when we feel like we can't cope, when are losing hope?

I am learning it's not about memorized words, detailed theology, practiced Christian jargon or empty fake prayers. It's not about doing more. It's not about knowing more. 

It's about knowing Him. 

In the moment.
That he loves us.
That he is faithful.
That he can be trusted.
That he sees us.
That he will help us.

Knowing & believing.

Knowing we are safe to bare it all to him. 
Knowing he will come to our rescue.
Knowing he is near- because he sees.

Then we can:

Humble ourselves to his will.
Let him embrace us.
Fall into his arms.
Rely on his truth.
Share in his suffering.
Praise him as he shows up.
Proclaim his beauty as he provides.

We all need. We desperately need.  We need to be filled - with money, with love, with acceptance, with words of encouragement, with a boss who cares, with good health, with peace, with healing. We need.

Often, we travel far and wide - to gas stations of need - thinking we can fill up there. We try to fill up with money, drugs, acceptance, control, sex, anxiety, worry, fears, anger or pride.  

But, we go astray. Our tanks run on empty. Because we filled up with the wrong power.

Yes, situations can stun.  
Yes, circumstances can break us down.
Yes, we don't always get the easy road in life.

But, when we turn to God to fill us - we do get something. We get real power. Lasting power. Eternal power. We get promises that will never fail, that lift us up, that comfort us, that help us to thrive - and become our drive.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Life may crash before us, but that's ok.  Sound ridiculous?  Maybe.  But it's not - because we see by faith and not by sight.

What we see are little pieces of ruin, but what God sees is broken fragments of what he wants to create anew. What we see are shards of glass, but what God sees are hopes and dreams that he has plans for. What we see is pain, but what he sees is our gain as we trust him by faith.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor. 4:17)

Sometimes, we are broken so that we can be remade.  We are broken to see his glory in a fresh way.  We are broken to know him more.

We can't see it in the moment, but in the aftermath all the little pieces come together. Our crash site turns into an amazing mosaic of his glory.  Know, your suffering is not for naught.  He has big plans.

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