The Who, Where and How of Suffering

A week ago today, I was in so much pain, I could hardly stand it anymore.  My back was hurting in ways in never had (so unusual, I went to the doctor to have them rule out other things like kidney stones, gall stones, etc).

I had to keep making the choice not to get discouraged, depressed or feel defeated. I mean….it’s been a crazy couple of months for the Eleazer household in the area of our health (well, for Sarah and I).  Sarah broke her arm, I got bronchitis and then the hernias, I had awful pain and swelling as a result of the hernia surgery (worse than the surgery and recovery itself), other “woman” issues, then the back started and then Sarah sprained her foot.

So, I went to the book of Job (you know you have some suffering going on when you gotta turn to the book of Job) J  And…I was reminded not to just ask “Why?” (because sometimes there are some good reasons to ask, “Why?”…I need to blog about that one later), but more importantly to focus on the “Who,” “Where” and the “How.”

WHO am I going to trust?  WHERE does my hope come from?  HOW am I going to respond to this?

I Trust in the LORD with all of my heart and I lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways I will acknowledge (and submit) to Him, and He will make my paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.  Jeremiah 17:7

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  Hebrews 12:11

I LOVE my Open Study Bible that Aaron bought me while we were dating.  It has a section on suffering and gives these reasons as purposes for suffering (it has Scripture references, but there are so many):

  1. To produce fruit
  2. To silence the devil (when we continue to have integrity despite our suffering and not sin during times of suffering).
  3. To glorify God
  4. To make us like Jesus
  5. To teach us dependence
  6. To refine our lives
  7. To rebuke our sin
  8. To enlarge our ministry towards others

I hope this encourages you as it has me.