Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Weird Word Wednesday - # 2 (Suffering)

Well of all things, it turns out that I must have been writing the last post about temptation by the enemy for myself.

A few short hours after I wrote it, I experienced a great trial. I can't be specific because its not just my story, but it's bad. As I look back on it now, in the light of day and through the filter of Christ, I can see that I found my way out.

I choose to trust in Jesus' strength and power -

Even though I am weak and weary, He is not.

I thought about the temptations I was presented with during the crisis.
The temptation to...

    be angry with God about an unanswered prayer for safety.
          sin against someone I love with defeating and insensitive words.

               be rude and surly to people who were trying to help me.

                    cast judgement on something I don't fully understand.

                         cease praying.

                             turn my back on God.

                                  wallow in fear and defeat.

                                       keep my "mouth" shut and not write about it.

Yes, all those things are strong temptations, but I'll take Paul's advice and resist the enemy.

How we resist is wrapped up in our Weird Word for the day:

                            pathema = means suffering, affliction, misfortune.

God allows this type of suffering for a purpose and I'd be willing to say that almost always He's the only one who knows why. This is what the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology says about it:

"Christ's vicarious suffering does not mean for his followers, however, deliverance from earthly suffering but deliverance for earthly suffering. He has suffered and been tempted as we are (Heb 2:18), yet he was without sin; indeed, since Christ has shared in all his people's experiences, he is able as the exalted one to "sympathize with their weaknesses". His suffering was a test that he was called on to undergo and in which he learned obedience (5:8). Having been tested by suffering, he is our pattern and example (1 Peter 2:21). His suffering requires us as his followers to walk a similar path (Heb 13:12-13; 1 Peter 2:21).       New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Verlyn D. Verbrugge

We maintain our hope and trust in God by faithfully enduring the hardship of suffering.

      I pray The Lord will give you strength in your suffering.

                                                                                        He is faithful and wonderful.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

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