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Turning trials into triumph

Let's face it, it's a struggle to believe God is for us when we're drowning in pain. Even Jesus felt abandoned in the midst of His suffering, saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) The refrains of God being a good God can sound hollow when our hearts and lives are broken. 

It's true that suffering that's not transformed by God is destructive. It leads us away from Him and into despair. But if we'll go to God with our pain, not only will He comfort us, He can work miracles with it. He can transform our greatest pain into our most significant triumph. 

Paul is a great example of how God redeems suffering. Paul experienced never ending hardships and persecution (2 Corinthians 11:22-33). But, his suffering produced an internal and eternal harvest. It allowed him to experience God’s power in ways he couldn't otherwise (2 Corinthians 1:5 and 2 Corinthians 1:9), it gave him a deeper compassion for others, and it allowed him to be part of God’s work on earth (2 Corinthians 1:6-7). 

Understanding that suffering has a purpose doesn't always help us persevere through it, however. Thankfully, Jesus showed us what to do. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross … and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2, NIV 84). Jesus overcame His suffering, so we can overcome ours. As we keep our focus on Jesus, He comforts us through our suffering, allows us to experience His presence in ways we otherwise wouldn’t, and uses it for good in ways we can’t imagine.

Reflect:

  • Are you in a time of suffering now? What’s one way you can keep your focus on Jesus during this time?
  • Are you being persecuted because you tell others about Jesus?  Paul said, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and allow the Holy Spirit to renew your strength.

 
If you want someone to talk and pray with you, please stop by the Care Room at your campus on Sunday or connect with someone here

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