Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.             James 5:13

 

Suffering. Pain. Difficulties. Hardship. Testing. Nothing seems to be going right. Do you have times like that? What do we do, when we don't know what to do? Consider Christ and His suffering for us. In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, Hebrews 5:7-9

Do these things happen in our lives? Are they an answer to our own prayers? Is God building character into our life? Is God teaching us patience? Loyalty? Trust? Faith? Obedience? Is God pruning us so that we bear more fruit? Is God demonstrating His character through us to others? His Love? Forgiveness? Is our suffering for someone else's good? As I consider that Christ suffered physically for my spiritual good, I must ask myself, why shouldn't I suffer for the good of others? For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 1 Peter 2:21

James says we must pray when we are suffering! But how are we to pray? Should we ask God to remove our suffering, or for God's will to be done through our suffering? We can be sure of one thing. Our suffering is not in vain. God's is at work. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5

God does not make mistakes. God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. Both for us and others. Paul said, Join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 2 Tim. 1:8-9 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Rom 8:18 For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, Phil 1:29

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Phil 3:8-11

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1,2 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:19

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11

2002 Pray-Today

   

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