There Is Value in Suffering
"Many times I have tried to run from suffering," one lady wrote. "But God seems to keep bringing the suffering my way until I learn to suffer for Him. I am learning to grab hold of the suffering, realizing that it cleanses me of myself. I want to be like Him!
"I heard that when we get to heaven, God won't look for the applause we had on this earth, or the diplomas, or wealth. He will only be looking for the scars. I want to bear the scars of suffering for Him.
"I am learning that I can have joy, even in the midst of the suffering. He is teaching me to rest under His wing; there I find peace."
She signed it "Rejoicing in my portion..."
Sometimes our suffering is caused by hurtful comments of others. This happened to the Beloved in this week's lesson on the Song of Songs. It is remarkable that she did not say one word of bitterness or complaint toward those who heaped criticisms upon her. When we have been wounded by a spouse, a son or daughter, a parent, a friend, a church minister or fellow worker, it can be almost unbearable. As Proverbs 18:14 states, "A crushed spirit who can bear?"
Yet it is possible to forgive because Jesus has carried all of our sorrows and griefs (Isaiah 53:4, 5). "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me" (Romans 15:3).
Dear Jesus, I allow You to forgive through me as You forgave Your persecutors while hanging on the cross. I will be a channel of Your forgiveness."
"Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world" (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).