Monday, August 21, 2017

From the Heart: Worth the Struggle

 

Read Rom. 8:18-28

Paul’s letter to the Romans never minimizes suffering; after all, his own life was filled with beatings, imprisonment, shipwrecks, assassination attempts, and chronic illness. But he insists with absolute conviction that future rewards will outweigh all present sufferings.

Olympic athletes endure years of eight-hour practice sessions and much discipline and pain for the goal of winning a gold metal. Similarly, the Christian’s life on earth may involve many struggles but the end result will make them all worthwhile.

I believe God’s purpose in saving us is not simply to keep us from going to hell, but`that Christ likeness may be formed in us. (Gal. 4:19). The moment we become a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus the process begins. (Rom. 3:26-29). From then on, God uses all of life’s circumstances to make us conformed to the image of His Son.

This past Saturday evening I received a phone call from my wife’s nephew. He said I thought I’d better let you know that Mom has been taken to the hospital and it doesn’t look good. She seems to be losing ground rapidly and she may not make it through the night. This was Marlene’s oldest sister, Margie. She had been suffering with Alzheimer’s for two or three years and was slowly losing her battle. We made it to the hospital in time to spend a few hours with her before she died. Now as most of you know, it’s hard losing someone you’ve spent your life with. Someone you’ve loved through hard times and good times and my beautiful wife, Marlene is going through that now. Please pray for her. By the grace of God she will get past this and draw strength in God knowing that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for all of us who are children of God.

The Thessalonians questioned Paul about the state of those who die before the second coming of the Lord. In 1Thess. 4:13-18, he said:

Concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 

Many times the question is ask, why does a loving God allow people to suffer such pain and heartache? Well the answer is simple. When we are suffering we are drawn closer to God for we know He alone has the strength and knowledge to lift us up. As we call out to Him in faith, He will hear our cry and send His Comforter.

I’ve heard it said that, “Conversion is the MIRACLE of a moment but maturing takes a lifetime.

Our God works to transform us

Till life on earth is done;

He uses trials and testing

To make us like His Son.  (Sper)

 

PRAYER:

Holy Father, What an awesome privilege it is to call you our Father. And to know that you are always waiting to hear from us. To let us know that your love extends beyond our imagination, for you sent your Son Jesus to suffer the agony of the cross and give up his life to take away our sins. Father, without your suffering as his Father and his suffering in the garden and on that old rugged cross we would be lost. Completely with hope. But thanks be to our resurrected Lord we have hope of eternal life and a great reunion with all those saints that have gone on before us.

In Jesus Holy Name, Amen!

Comments

One Response to “From the Heart: Worth the Struggle”
  1. Rhonda Terry says:

    Wonderful thoughts! Thank you!

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