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Showing posts from 2012

Joy in Suffering - The decision to trust

Real trust only happens when the relationship is challenged.

A couple of years ago I remember praying for God to teach me to have joy in suffering. (See this post from 2010. Though I don't have this mastered by any means, I have begun to taste what that can be like. And what I am discovering is that joy comes through trust.

I have an amazing friend who has suffered in life in ways I can't even imagine. When I met her she was depressed, hopeless, anxious, on the verge of divorce, destructive to herself and her family. Through many long conversations and God-arranged circumstances, she came to trust Jesus as her hope, love and salvation. In one of those conversations she was seeking my advice because she was afraid her husband was having an affair. He had been unfaithful in the past and she was racked by constant worry that he was doing it again. She was thinking of scheme after scheme to catch him in the act and saying that she just could not trust him. In a moment of clarity…
I thought I understood God. Cocky, I know, but I did... And I loved the god that I thought I understood. Through the past couple of years I have realized how different God is than who I thought I knew. He is much fiercer, much more beautiful, his love is much deeper and his ways so, so good, beyond my understanding. So far above my understanding...

The story of Joseph has been a recurring theme for me. "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." This truth gave Joseph the ability to both accept his circumstances and to forgive those who had harmed and betrayed him. How that has helped me over and over again! Yes, that person had sinful, selfish, or hurtful motivations for what they did, but at the same time God meant it for good. This gives me the ability to see life for what it is, recognize the evil and not excuse it, but at the same time see God's goodness, provision, faithfulness and plans through it all. There is real evil in the world, and people are respo…