I wanted to share today’s entry from “My Utmost For His Highest“. What a great point that sometimes we hope and even pray to avoid sorrow as though it’s something that simply shouldn’t be in the world. We have to realize that everything is under God’s control, and if we believe God’s will is perfect (Romans 12:2b)…we have to accept that he allows sorrows to happen in life.
Additionally, Romans 5:3-5 says that we are to “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us”
So although unpleasant, suffering is necessary for producing good things in us. See below the great comparison to Jesus’ time on earth and how He knew of the pain and suffering that was to come yet he embraced it. Also if you haven’t already, check out http://utmost.org daily for great insight.
As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself, accepting His position and realizing His purpose, in the midst of the fire of sorrow. He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.
We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to accept and receive ourselves in its fires. If we try to evade sorrow, refusing to deal with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life, and there is no use in saying it should not be. Sin, sorrow, and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.
Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness, but it does not always make that person better. Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me. You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you lose your head over pride. And you cannot receive yourself through the monotony of your daily life, because you give in to complaining. The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.
So even in our times of suffering, we should try as best as we can (though I know this is one of the hardest things to do!) to see it as an opportunity to grow in our faith and increase our hope.