God’s Purposes

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

There sure is a lot of trouble in this world, isn’t there?  You have a fight, you lose your job, the doctor gives you a grim diagnosis, someone you love gets hurt or killed, and on and on.  And sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter if you prayed or not, because you still get hurt.  Christians know that God is sovereign, good, wise, and loving.  If you have been walking with God for a while, it might not seem too difficult to withstand the little things.  But what do we do with the pain and tornadic emotions when the worst happens?  Why would our loving Father allow us to go through this?

If you’ve been following here, you know what I’ve been dealing with lately.  And as much of a Bible study nut that I am, I have been so depressed that I cannot even read my Bible.  But I did turn on the radio and just lay there listening to messages.  One of the good things about listening to LOTS of Bible teachers is that it gives God ample opportunity to speak audibly to you with the words you need to hear.

This week I have heard many pieces of information about suffering and pain – for us and what Jesus experienced.  One pastor talked about Is 53 where Jesus is called a “man of suffering.”  I think there is something in that, especially when put with Rom 8:17.  Need to study that further sometime.

But, here is the good part – yesterday I listened to a Charles Stanley podcast entitled, “God’s Purpose.”  In it, Dr. Stanley gives five basic reasons why God allows *or brings* the storms of life:

  1. Cleansing – God uses the storms to sanctify us
  2. Companionship – Pain and suffering drives us closer to God
  3. Conformity – Trials are necessary to conform us into the image of Christ
  4. Conviction – What we believe about God is tested during hardship.  Do you really and truly believe that God is sovereign, good, wise, loving, ever-present and will provide for all your needs, even at this painful time?  Trials reveal the depth of your faith and the faithfulness of God.
  5. Comfort – 2Cor1:3-4 – In comforting us through our troubles, God equips us to comfort others in their sufferings. 

Dr. Stanley had more helpful insights in that great message, I highly recommend you listen to the it.  Find it on his audio archives page under the broadcast date October 12-13, 2010.

Okay, so God has a purpose.  But when I am in tremendous pain, sometimes I feel like saying, “I don’t want to hurt anymore.  I am sorry, God, but I don’t care if you can use this to bring me closer to you or to help others, I just want the pain to stop now.”  What do you do with that? – The diffcuilt lesson I have learned (in my head at least) is that if I am addicted to comfort at all costs, that is my will, not God’s, and I will never have peace or be satisfied.  The only way to find true fulfillment, and fill that longing deep inside, is to completely abandon yourself to God.  That means valuing his faithful presence with you more than your earthly comfort.  And while I am not very good at that yet, God has made a lot of progress in me, especially this past two weeks.

God is LORD of all, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, forever.  Praise You, Lord.

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7 Responses to God’s Purposes

  1. Julie Cooper says:

    In response to this: “Okay, so God has a purpose. But when I am in tremendous pain, sometimes I feel like saying, “I don’t want to hurt anymore. I am sorry, God, but I don’t care if you can use this to bring me closer to you or to help others, I just want the pain to stop now.” What do you do with that?”

    I’m no where near as versed as you are with the Bible, but I am well versed in physical and emotional pain. You need to forgive yourself for having those thoughts. As PMac always says, “Nobody this side of Heaven is perfect.” Like you’ve previously posted, even Jesus cried out, “Oh God, Oh God, Why have you forsaken me?” I’m thinking that had a lot to do with the pain He was going through and how He wanted it to end. God’s criteria for “testing” us doesn’t depend on how far he can push us until we crack and say enough is enough, it depends on what we do after that “crack.” Some people would turn from God and never forgive Him for allowing them to suffer that kind of pain. It’s those of us who endure the pain and continue to seek a closer relationship with God after that “crack” who “pass” His test. Forgive yourself for having those thoughts and feelings, I know he’s already forgiven you.

  2. Janice Hilt says:

    I heard Joni Erickson Tada this week; she has been going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. If anyone knows about pain and suffering she certainly does. If you want to give a listen you can find it on reviveourhearts. com. They aired her message on Friday. Its called “The Stakes Are Higher Than You Think”.

  3. Carol says:

    Hi Michele
    Hope you are feeling much better but don’t keep punishing yourself over and over God has forgiven you for all your sins not just one but all of them and if you confess with your mouth He is faithful to forgive you. God is good and His love endures forever, as I was listening to a song today I do not know who sings it but it went something like this( OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL EVERYDAY HE IS FAITHFUL AND OUR GOD WILL N OT BE SHAKEN.) I wish I knew who sang that it is a beautiful song and there is another one and I believe that is by Mercy Me or Casting Crowns
    ( YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL EVEN BEFORE YOU WERE BORN YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND GOD CREATED YOU YOU ARE SACRED TO HIM ) I believe you can go on youtube and hear that song and the other song I have heard on K-Love
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Kepp your eyes on God the enemy would love for you to throw in the towel but keeep turning to the Lord and wrestle with Jesus and hold onto Him He will never let go of you.
    Carol

    • Michele says:

      Hi Carol,
      It has been a hard week. The guilt aspect is better, I am not punishing myself. But I have been very depressed just about the loss itself. I guess that is normal because the three of us lived together for so many years and Cindy was my bff, so life is very different now without her. So many things remind me of her and I miss her very much. Yes, God is faithful. Thank you for checking in

      • Carol says:

        Hi Michele
        I can relate I have a dog as you can see in my picture and we have been together for a long time also and it has just been me and her thru thick and thin and she is also older and I can see it everyday in her, she is bff also. Have you decided what you are doing for Thanksgiving? Well as for me I have an elderly parent I take care of so we will go out to eat I would rather cook but she does not like that she likes to go out to eat she does not live with me Sometimes that road gets long because it is very challenging and I am also unemployed so I am driving her to the store and stuff and that is anothe expense on gas and stuff but oh well God is Faithful.
        Talk to you soon
        Carol

  4. Tracy Stoffell says:

    Michele,

    The part that you wrote from Dr. Stanley, thanks, I really needed to that. I don’t know if you have noticed but I have not posted a blog in over a week. I had a situation develop, lets just say the enemy does not like it when we really get in God’s will. I needed that reminder thanks.

    Keep hanging on to GOD my friend, He will and He is going to see you through this difficult time.

    Tracy

    • Michele says:

      Yes, Tracy, the enemy wants us to get depressed, discouraged, or even distracted so we will not continue to seek & share the love of Christ. We can’t let him do that.
      He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. 1John 4:4

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