|"Consider it all joy..."|
I remember reading the book “Surprised by Suffering” by Dr. R.C. Sproul years ago and listening to him discuss the topic on his radio show.
As I listened to him speak about how Christians should not be surprised by trials, I thought back to how I responded to certain trials in my life.
And I cringed.
As Christians in America, we tend to be sheltered from true suffering. What I mean by that is, most Christians in other countries have experienced persecution and even death threats simply for following Christ in addition to pain and suffering from physical ailments or familial rejections.
But we American Christians are genuinely surprised when we suffer from rejection, physical ailments, or persecution.
Dr. R.C. Sproul takes us back to Scripture to remind the Christian never to be surprised by any kind of suffering we endure because if Christ suffered…then we must suffer.
I want to share a testimony from a friend, a strong woman of faith, because she has not only suffered as a believer, but understands what Dr. Sproul meant in his book:
Christ is there with us as we suffer…
Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ....We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance character and character, hope... Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in your hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. “
Those verses helped me through some of the hardest trials in my life.
A few years ago I started having abdominal pain. An MRI was ordered and they found a tumor on my pancreas. The doctors decided that a “Whipple Procedure” needed to be done.
Our surgeon removed part of my pancreas, part of my stomach, part of my intestines, gall bladder, bile duct and pre-cancerous cells.....all removed!
Yes, half my insides are gone!
It has been a very painful healing process. I have been in the hospital about 7 times in the past year and a half. My husband Russ took wonderful care of me and had to prepare an IV bag for me with all my medications. He would have to clean the IV and flush and insert it back into my arm. He did this for 2 months. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful husband, and the Lord has blessed us with His loving kindness and mercy through all of this.
Russ and I prepared for many years saving for our future retirement. We invested well and saved in the way we felt the Lord had prepared for us to do. During this time, the economy fell and so did the housing market. We chose to do the right thing in the midst of seeing a lot of worldly people do the wrong thing, and not pay their bills. We suffered a great financial loss that will never be recovered, but we know our reward will be in heaven.
Our toil is not in vain...Praise His name I Cor. 15:58!
Our daughter and two beautiful grandchildren went through a divorce. It broke my heart. To see your family broken apart is one of the hardest things to endure...especially when it involves your grandchildren.
I lost my beautiful godly mother to pancreatic cancer 5 years ago. I am now losing my father to Alzheimer’s. He is in the second stage. My sister and I and our husbands have taken good care of him, but he is now in a home with a precious caretaker, who can care for him in such a beautiful way. My father does not recognize me most of the time. As heartbreaking as that is, I have hope in my Lord!
II Cor. 4:16-18 informs us... “Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!”
I have endured many other personal trials that I cannot share at this time. But we have the promise that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. Scripture is the only true comfort that we have offered to us at any given time! Praise His name!
II Cor. 1:4 says...”Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
We need to look at our blessings that the Lord has lavished on all of us who know Him!
I thank the Lord for exchanging His robes of righteousness for our filthy garments.
I thank the Lord for His covenants that He has shared with us.
We remember His precious and magnificent promises.
We understand that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.
And He has promised us peace that surpasses all understanding....Praise His name!
Love in the name of Adonai... our Lord and Master,
Thank you, Tammy, for sharing your story!
God has been with my friend and her husband throughout the storms that come in life. It is the promise that gets her through it all:
Christ is there in the midst of the storm.
Tammy's and my prayer is that, as you read this, you will never be surprised by suffering or trials and tribulations, but instead rejoice in knowing that the Lord is there with you through it all.
Because Christ suffered…we, too, will suffer.
Tammy will be having more surgery this week. If you could, please lift her up in prayer.