This is something that I saw at the beginning of this week that made me stop and think and in return I wanted to share with my readers because its such a good reminder!
- From a good friend’s Facebook page who happens to be the head pastor at State College Assembly of God church in State College Pennsylvania. He took this quote from Scotty Smith who wrote A Gospel Centered Faith and posted it onto his wall and it really hit home with me.
“Jesus never calls us to suffer for Him but rather to suffer with Him, and that makes all the difference in the world. We’re called into the fellowship of His sufferings, not into the isolation of our own sufferings. He never leads us into hard places where He’s not present. His promise is to never leave us or forsake us.”
I think that these words highlight a truth that we as Christians and Believers may sometimes forget about or have trouble putting into words when someone asks us how God can allow suffering if He loves us so much. Lets face it, sometimes we feel so alone in our hurts that we forget all about the One who can and will bring us through our suffering and pain and in return use it to grow us in Him. God knows that we hate to suffer but He also knows that it is necessary for us to learn and grow. So He doesn’t promise us that we will stop suffering or feeling pain the moment we offer our lives up to follow Him. In fact, He promises that by doing so we are guaranteed to suffer more. That may seem backwards to some but the beauty of it is in God’s promise to be with us through it all, to bring us through it, and to use our sufferings for our ultimate good. No where in the Bible does it say that once we decide to follow the Lord we will walk alone. It says the opposite! Once we choose to follow God we are choosing to always have someone there with our best interests in heart walk by our sides at all times. Suffering is simply part of the world we live in. But we do not belong to the world, we belong to God. He alone determines the path we take and shapes our future which means that no matter how much we may suffer, there will never be anything that we cannot face with His strength.
This is truly an amazing thing and I am so glad for the reminder this week. I hope it speaks to those who may be walking through tough times and are wondering where God is in all of this and how in the world things can possibly get better.