Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Suffering is not a competitive sport ~ a blog article worth reading!!!

I just read this blog article this afternoon, titled "Suffering is not a competitive sport" and it really got me thinking! I can never thank the Lord enough for the way He brings articles like this and verses from the Bible to bear upon my life and convict me of my sin and my need of Him.

This article really challenged me as to the way I respond when suffering: do I use it as an opportunity to glorify God and make Him known or do I boast in my own abilities? I'm afraid it is more often the latter than the former.

Here are some points Colleen Chao makes which I think are worth noting:

- God often uses suffering to deepen our relationship with Him.
- Suffering shows us that this life is not everything.
- We often want people's empathy more than knowing Christ and sharing in His sufferings, rather than praising Him and using it as a sacrifice of praise.
- In doing this, often our own troubles are exaulted over those of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can become bitter and twisted about our own problems, comparing them to others' and concluding that ours are worse, rather than using these trials to reach out compassionately to others who are suffering.
- In actuality, we all suffer: the nature of it and degree of it will be different for each individual, but who are we to question God's soverignty over the lives of ourselves and other Christians? He uses the fact that we all suffer to draw us closer together (how true this is, I have found, in my own life, where the trials other Christians in my life have endured have seriously encouraged me to keep trusting in the Lord).

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What a challenge! Please pray for me, that the Lord would help me to not be so complaining to others about the trials but rather use me as a vessel of grace for His glory! Like Colleen Chao, "I don't want to make much of my suffering; I want to make much of my God in suffering" because "suffering is not the point. God is."
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