Friday, December 16, 2016

Suffering and Christ's intentions between the lines: how to see through the eyes of one Man on the Cross

What is suffering? What does it mean to suffer well?
The answer is found below:
1. No it does not resonate with me because I don't fully understand suffering well. 
2. A time when God used my suffering to comfort someone else was when I struggled heart to heart with my past boyfriend who was married and I quickly found out that other women needed the advice I could give them about growing in the faith and remaining single until God calls you to marriage. 
3. Suffering can make me more Christlike by reminding me of how I am strong when I am weak. 

Psalm 107:1-43 NIV
[1] Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. [2] Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story---those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, [3] those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. [4] Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. [5] They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. [6] Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. [7] He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. [8] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, [9] for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. [10] Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, [11] because they rebelled against God's commands and despised the plans of the Most High. [12] So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. [13] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. [14] He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. [15] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, [16] for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. [17] Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. [18] They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. [19] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. [20] He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. [21] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. [22] Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. [23] Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. [24] They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. [25] For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. [26] They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. [27] They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits' end. [28] Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. [29] He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. [30] They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. [31] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. [32] Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders. [33] He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, [34] and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there. [35] He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; [36] there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. [37] They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; [38] he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish. [39] Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow; [40] he who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste. [41] But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. [42] The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths. [43] Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
Isaiah 53:1-12 NIV
[1] Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? [2] He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. [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. [4] Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. [5] But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. [6] We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. [7] He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. [8] By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. [9] He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. [10] Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. [11] After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. [12] Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Romans 5:1-5 NIV
[1] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [2] through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. [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.
Philippians 3:7-11 NIV
[7] But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. [8] What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ [9] and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ---the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. [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, [11] and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
1 Peter 2:21 NIV
[21] To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

You might be familiar with hearts right? 
What about the cross? 
That is LOVE in its truest and honest form! 
I hope and pray you walk away with the true meaning of your heart shaped love meaning: the cross.


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