I realize that I haven’t posted in a while. I’m back, after a nasty bout with severe withdrawal symptoms from a medication that I found really works and that I truly need. God, thank you for Lyrica! May I never run out again!
Here’s a passage that’s been on my heart, and I think it’s practically memorized, or at least etched into my brain at some level. . .
“Hebrews 10:32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.
33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.
34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!
36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)
Think back, or remember the earlier days. . .when you knew how much grace meant; when your salvation from idols and the realization that a Holy God would become man to die in your place, and then rise again and ascend to heaven, with a promise that He will return in glory to gain the final victory over sin and death.
Suffering is a part of the Christian walk. Why do any of us ever think that we are entitled to no suffering because we follow Jesus? Jesus wasn’t immune to suffering; none of the apostles was immune. Stephen was stoned. Even the friends of the apostles and founders of the church were persecuted just because they associated with them or gave them shelter.
So, how do we suffer well? We accept it with joy, knowing that something better is coming. This life will not last forever; forever is spent with Jesus! Sure, it seems ridiculous, even impossible. In fact, in our own strength, suffering well is impossible. But, as the earlier part of the chapter reveals, Jesus has provided all the strength and example we need. We just throw ourselves on His grace; come boldly before Him, asking for what He is so willing to give.
And here is the admonition that has been ringing in my head for the last several days. . .”Don’t throw away your confident trust in the Lord. . .Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. . .”
Throwing in the towel, giving up, quitting, is throwing away my confident trust in the Lord. Jesus knows that suffering, that this life with all the unfairness and weariness and conflict and temptation, will tempt me to give up. I can’t throw away my confident trust in God. He is Sovereign; He is in control; He does all things well; He is merciful, and kind to all He has made; He will fulfill His purpose for me.
Patient endurance. Continue to do God’s will. Don’t give up. Keep on going. Continue to do what God wants me to do. The reward is at the end. Jesus is here now, but Jesus is there, at the end. I can keep on because He is with me.