…God teaches men through suffering and uses distress to open their eyes. Job 36:15 TEV
No matter what you’re going through today… no matter the hoops you’re being asked to jump through…
The raggedy edge of emotional cliffs.
God is still working. He’s still loving you, more than you can imagine. He’s still ruler and still in charge.
He’s good, and even though I would prefer to learn through gentle nudging and tender mercies, I know that being tender with me when what I need is a stern presence, yeah, it’s not so helpful.
Sometimes I have to learn my lessons, as we say, “the hard way.” And although I hate to admit it, those hard lessons are the ones that have stuck with me over time. The Scriptures are right when they teach us that God uses suffering for good.
I have learned through suffering and distress!
I have also used what I’ve gleaned in the tough times to course correct for the future, for my good. But not for my good alone. Others have benefitted from those course corrections, too. They’ve been helped by the things I’ve learned, too.
God has used distress to open my eyes!
Today, it may be that God is using distress in your life, to open your eyes and shake things up in your life, or to point you to a conclusion you never would have seen had it not been for the pressure bearing down. Know this: It’s for your good that the pressure is being applied. It’s getting you where you need to go, and it’s fortifying you for the future. Every weight lifter, distance runner, or athlete of any kind will tell you it’s when the pressure is on that they’ve been stretched, strengthened, and able to build muscle.
What I’ve found most helpful in the suffering times is praise.
Praise turns things around.
Praise changes my perspective.
Praise gets my mind and heart in the position to receive from God.
Praise enlarges my territory and helps me see that for now suffering may be painful, but tomorrow I’ll be glad of it.
Today I’ve made a decision to be grateful through the hard. To be thankful for God with me, Immanuel. To be used by God to gift another with perspective. To realize that everything God does, he does for my good. He loves me, more than I love myself. I might not allow me to be touched by suffering or grief, had I my druther. God will allow it, because of how it changes me. How it molds me. How it shapes me. How it helps me be closer to Him and more holy.
Is it worth the trade-off in my life: suffering for glory? It is. Is it for you? You have to decide. Truth is, you won’t be able to keep suffering from you for all your life, so why not learn from it and be made like Jesus?
What are you thankful for today? How has gratitude and thankfulness brought you closer to God and made the tough times seem worthwhile?