If we cannot suffer with joy, then there is no glory given to God. His purpose in our suffering is to bring about perseverance and His righteous character in ourselves, and to bring glory to Him through our obedience, trust, faith, and JOY in suffering. But, if there is no joy, there is only pity, and any attention to ourselves, is glory stolen from God, even if unintended.
My mind wanders again to my sweet, late mentor, Linda Dunlap. She suffered much pain as her body battled cancer for years, 3 bouts with it, and then she lost her arm to it, and finally her life. I never remember anything coming from her mouth, except pure JOY, THANKSGIVING and TRUST in everything God was doing in her life. She talked a little bit about what she was going through, but there was no attention stolen from God…no glory given except to HIM. I am so blessed to have known such saints of His. To have these memories of our conversations together, still so vivid in my mind. To have this example to follow.
God’s standard is so far beyond me. We know not when our suffering will end. Where do we set our hope? On the end of our suffering? Shall I say to myself, just 8 more weeks? Is that where my hope lies? My hope is in HIM. My strong tower, deliverer, healer, and lover of my soul. My hope, as so many devotions have led me, is in heaven. The promise of eternal life with NO pain, basking in His overwhelming love.
I am CERTAIN of His love for me, and learning this JOY, that transcends all pain.
This day, He tells me, let Thanksgiving be your guide and the wings that carry your prayers into my heavenly throne. Let me take charge of your day and walk purposefully with me.
To Him be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.