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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro


Some Good News About Suffering


"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us..."
- Romans 5:3 TLB

One of the things I love most about Jesus is His honesty. He plainly told His disciples that as long as they lived in this world, they would face times of trouble, hardship, and suffering. (John 16:33) We may suffer the pain of a broken relationship, the loss of a job, or disappointment over a longing unfulfilled. Our suffering could be physical, mental, emotional, or financial. Suffering has many faces, but the good news is that those who belong to Christ have some very good reasons to rejoice in the midst of their trials, no matter what kind they may be.

First, when trouble comes, the Lord fills us with supernatural strength to help us press forward through our pain. Scripture says: "The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]!" (Habakkuk 3:19 AMP) We don’t have to allow our pain to disable or immobilize us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us every moment of every day because the Holy Spirit dwells in us. (Ephesians 1:19-20) As we seek the Lord in prayer and Scripture reading, He fills us with His might so that we can follow His plan for victory. As the apostle Paul says: "Be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]." (Ephesians 6:10 AMP)

Second, even in our darkest times, God has promised to turn our troubles into something positive. Romans 8:28 (NASB) says: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Not everything that happens to us is good. But God is good. And because we love Him, He uses His supernatural wisdom and power to cause our adversities to benefit us somehow. Think about this: In every trial, God is equipping and preparing us to perform the divine assignments He has in store for us. Paul wrote: "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4 NIV) God is developing qualities in us that will prove to be very valuable in the days to come. James confirms this fact when he writes: "Is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow…then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete." (James 1:2-4 TLB)

Thirdly, the Lord reminds us that He is with us every step of the way, proving Himself to be our constant Protector, Provider, and Comforter. Our friends and family may turn their backs on us, but the Lord never abandons us. He declares: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5 NIV) And the same God who is with us till the end is the same God who can overcome every challenge, obstacle, and roadblock that comes our way. As He declared to the prophet Jeremiah: "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27 NASB) As we seek the Lord for His will during times of suffering, He will move mountains to cause us to triumph over our troubles.

Lastly, God sets limits on our trials, and He remains in total control of every situation we face. He is intimately aware of our weaknesses and limitations, and He will not allow our circumstances to destroy or defeat us. Through our union with Christ, He equips us with everything we need to overcome. As Jesus says: "In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you. ]" (John 16:33 AMP) You and I have reason to rejoice in our sufferings. Now isn’t that good news?

Prayer: Lord, when pain and problems come my way, remind me that You are my constant Companion and Comforter. Use my trials to prepare and equip me for all of the divine assignments You have in store for me. Thank You that as I continue to seek and serve You, You will cause every one of my problems to profit me!

- J. M. Farro

 

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This Friday, April 20
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