Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Days of Joy: Joy in Suffering

In the verse we read yesterday, James 1:2-4, the Bible says that we should consider it pure joy when we face trials.  I don’t know about you, but my first response when I face a new trial is rarely a response of joy.  I don’t get excited when I am called upon to suffer, but though the trials are hard, they are worth it.  In fact, they are so beneficial for us that we are to count it all joy!  If you are a Christian, the trials you face are used by God to develop in you perseverance. That quality is so valuable that it gives us reason to rejoice in our sufferings!

In the hard times I find myself drawing closer to the Lord because I realize how much I need Him.  I grow because of suffering.  My severe dysautonomia has been, and continues to be, a blessing in disguise.  God uses dysautonomia to produce perseverance in me.

I was recently reading Randy Alcorn’s book, 90 Days of God’s Goodness, and I especially liked two of the quotes he shared by Charles Spurgeon.  Spurgeon said, “I venture to say that the greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the possible exception of sickness.”  Spurgeon saw the value that was to be had in suffering: “I am afraid that all the grace that I have got of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours, might almost lie on a penny.  But the good that I have received from my sorrows, and pains, and griefs, is altogether incalculable….Affliction is the best bit of furniture in my house.  It is the best book in a minister’s library.”

There is blessing to be had in suffering.  Count it all joy, dear friend, and persevere in whatever trial God has called you to endure today.  It is worth it.

“…We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”  (Romans 5:2-5, NIV).

What is God currently using in your life to develop perseverance?

Photo Credit: muffinbasket

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