Suffering is not a sign of weakness.
Suffering is not a commentary or payback on my past.
Suffering invites a review or inventory of life.
Suffering demands intense focus on myself that can sometimes be overdone.
Suffering forces choices between bitterness and avoidance, versus thankfulness and cooperation.
Suffering creates opportunities to learn how to accept help.
Suffering often triggers concern among friends that can be awkward to receive.
Suffering can be a school for faith development.
“[God] has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well.”
(Paul in Philippians 1:29)
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings… But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief or a criminal or even as a mischief maker. Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear his name.”
(Peter to the exiled believers in I Peter 4:12-16)
Lord, thank you for the sobering challenge of sharing in Christ’s suffering and the impact it has on my knowledge of myself, you and the gift of life. Help me discover your presence in it.
by Pete Hammond from here.