(A quote from Outlander in the Gaidhlig dialect.)
A friend sent a text the other night that broke my heart. It seemed like each day, each time we communicated, whether by phone or text, there was something else that had been added her to load. Marriage communication issues, children with the inclination to disobey, friends who are hurtful, lack of resources at school for another child, unable to find a job that pays enough and has the insurance coverage needed to benefit their entire family, recurring health problems. The list was long. The list was heavy and burdensome. The list continued to have new issues added to it.
How much can one person handle? How much can a person take before they break? Where does the hope come from? Are we called to suffer and experience pain? These are the questions that flood our minds when we think of pain and suffering.
I called her back immediately, and I told my friend how sorry I was that each day seemed to be so challenging. I told her that she was loved, and that I would like to pray with her and that I would like to continue praying for her. She glad received the invitation to pray together.
I also wanted to also dive into Truth with her.
- 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.”
- 1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.
- 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
- 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
- 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
- 24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
- 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- 10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.
- 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
- 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
- 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
- 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
- 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
- 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
- 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
- 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
- 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
- 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
- 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
- 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
- 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
- 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
- 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—
- 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
- 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
- 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
- 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
- 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
As we read scripture together, using our Bible Study Tools app, we read that it wasn't that we MIGHT suffer, the Bible states, WHEN we suffer, not if. It is a given. We also found that suffering isn't constant, suffering isn't a punishment, and suffering can produce great joy. WHAT? Joy? We found that there is HOPE. And we found that in suffering, we can also find comfort.
- 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” 9 So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.
- 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people:
- 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
- 17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
- 76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
- 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
- 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
- 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
- 48 I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees. 49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. 50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. 51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law. 52 I remember, LORD, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them.
- 31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. 34 To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, 35 to deny people their rights before the Most High, 36 to deprive them of justice— would not the Lord see such things? 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? 39 Why should the living complain when punished for their sins? 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: 42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. 43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. 45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.” 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, 50 until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees. 51 What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city. 52 Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. 53 They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me; 54 the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. 55 I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. 56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” 58 You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life. 59 LORD, you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! 60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. 61 LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me— 62 what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.
- 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
- 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
No, my friend's problems will not be solved overnight. But by praying Truth, by digging into the Word, Hope and Encouragement can be found.
What burdens you tonight? I encourage you to pray while you are suffering. Pray while you are hurting. Pray even when you are waiting for other prayers to be answered. Just keep praying. Open the bible and dive in. Truth is yours for the taking.
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