A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Troubles, Strife and Hardship

The last two years have been difficult for my wife and I, having to find a way through accidents, illness, loss and disability. God brings us through one thing and then there is another! This has made me consider how I view suffering, trials and hardship.

Theologically the answer would depend upon what we mean by suffering I suppose. Whether we mean the usual kind of life's events like illness, loss and tragedy or unavoidable suffering because we are Christians or persecution by others. Suffering has been the subject of countless debates and books and I leave the outcome to the experts and theologians.

I will just give my brief offering in what I see to date:

People have told me that it's character-building. Not the sort of thing I would say to someone in the midst of a hard time. But I can look back and see that I am different. I have found out more who I really am and discovered things I couldn't do before. Whether I've changed for the better I leave to others to decide, although I know it has burnt a lot of the pride out of me.

It is always His promise to bring us through to a better place in Him, provided we look to Him. Looking back I know this to be true. It's just the 'going through' that can be tough and rocky. I cannot honestly say when I am in the thick of it, that I readily say, 'count it all joy,' but I would praise God in knowing that He knows what He is doing.

One thing that is absolutely clear is that it has the potential to draw us closer to God and experience more of His love for us. I doubt very much whether I would have discovered what I have so far without the hardships that focussed my attention on God. Also there have been times, when in the midst of hardship I have been surprised by intense blessings from God. For these reasons alone I can honestly say, that although there have been times when I felt like throwing in the towel, I am thankful because of all the benefits. Benefits in the here and now and for all eternity, that far outweigh the trials.

"And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever." 2Corinthians 4:17-18 Good News Bible