Give Thanks 2013: Day

Give thanks in suffering

by

Today's Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19, Romans 5: 3-5, Job 2:3

Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19, Romans 5: 3-5, Job 2:3

“ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18

It’s hard to be thankful while your world is crashing down. The ending of a job, the illness of a loved one; so many circumstances in life take our breath away.

We are a world uncomfortable with long term, deep suffering. We want to fix or be fixed quickly. We offer advice, platitudes, prayers and cries to God of, “Why us? Why them?” No one wants to suffer, and yet we all experience it at some point. And when we do, there are myriads of suggestions on how we should handle it.

As we walk through our valleys, we do not have to dwell on the pain we have. Often this seems wrong and backwards – that we would dare to find joy in the suffering. Isn’t that a betrayal of the pain? Do we need to be ashamed that we didn’t get our prayers answered, that in the eyes of others we believed in a God who ignored us? Saying we’re thankful and hopeful in these situations seems naive and maybe just a bit crazy to those who are watching.

As Christians, we are able to honestly say, “This hurts, it hurts so much, and I’m not happy about it; but I have a great hope that this pain is temporary because of what my God did.” Job was considered a “man of integrity” by God Himself for enduring all he did and yet choosing to be faithful to the Lord (Job 2:3).  While Jesus was a man of sorrow at times, He didn’t allow that to define His life. In fact, He died so that we would have hope even in the suffering of our earthly lives. It’s ok to be sad, but we know Jesus lived, died and rose again so that we can know in the midst of terrible pain that this isn’t all there is.

Our hope is never in vain when it’s in Jesus. Our thanksgiving in suffering is a testament of how temporary the pain is, and how great we know our joy will be one day.

“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.”
Romans 5:5

 

 

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For an added layer of worship and study, we chose a beloved hymn for each day of our Give Thanks plan. Today, we invite you to listen to “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” as we dwell on the truth of God’s word together.

  • Thank you remember He is still there and sees our suffering, in Him we find peace.

  • This study was very hard for me..I’m finding it very difficult to give thanks when I am suffering over the lost of my 9 year old…it’s been 7 months and I don’t know how to be thankful for this type of pain

  • Stephanie

    I love this. There are so many times when I have a hard time and when I try to express it people are like “but you need to speak faith” so glad that someone finally wrote about this, it may be hard but God is bigger and has a better plan.

  • SarahJaneL

    I used to hope for a perfect, stress- and problem-free life. Wondering when life would become easy and I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed. It's only recently after beginning SRT devotionals and really reading the Bible in depth for the first time that I've come to realize (after 31 years of living on this Earth) that life is never going to be easy. Each of us has our own struggles, problems, and less than ideal circumstances we must face. But I've been able to find peace in this realization. Peace in God's promise to never forsake me. Peace in knowing that He will carry me through. Peace in knowing I'm growing closer to Him by growing and learning through the suffering. For this I am thankful!

  • Jennifer

    I tend to deal with pain daily but I have to remember that it is temporary. I have at times also cried out asking why something would have to happen. I am realizing with this study that God is not ignoring me. I also have to remember that God knows what I need and when even if I do not know. He also stands beside me in all of the hurt and pain and all I have to do is turn to him. Thank all who shared their stories. You have helped me a lot today.

  • http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S-jIQsAoQt4
    Trading My Sorrows – from a Women of Faith conference

  • "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."
    -Psalm 143:8

    This has been one of my dearly held bible verses for the past few days. The Lord knows us. He knows every desire and pain of our hearts; He knows what our souls need. God's love is unfailing, even in the trial, and even in the waiting (I didn't mean for that to rhyme, haha). How joyous it is to be reminded of Christ's faithful love for us! Thank God for SRT- this study has been helping me to look to our God more and more, and to be content and thankful for wherever He places me. God's love is ALWAYS ENOUGH.

  • Also, if anyone would like to start a bible study group for our SRT devos, email me at [email protected]

  • Here’s an unpopular opinion.

    Sometimes it’s a part of God’s will to allow us to go through the suffering. Some people want to think God wouldn’t allow that, but why wouldn’t He? He sent His own Son to die on a cross and suffer under the hands of His own people. What makes us so entitled to a suffer-free life? Instead, in times of suffering, we should be thankful because God has a plan to use that suffering for good

    • Leenda324

      I think some American Christians are the only Christians who have ever thought that suffering is anomalous in the life of a believer! Certainly, the church has been persecuted throughout the centuries — and, alas, sometimes been the persecutors of others.

  • Thankful, thankful that I've found this community of women. To know that we all have problems and we all struggle everyday and are not alone in this world that pulls us in different directions. So much so that we don't know where we are coming or going, we get caught up in being busy we lose ourselves. Thanks be to God, that wonderful Redeemer, Friend, Counselor, Savior, and Comforter. My memory verse these past two weeks.
    Psalm 51:10-NIV "Create in me a pure heart, O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me."

    • AnnaLee

      Amen, Dawn! How blessed we all are, to have Christ and to have each other during this life!

  • I am reminded of a song we have been singing lately at church – Hillsong's Cornerstone
    "When Darkness seems to hide His face
    I rest on His unchanging grace
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil
    My anchor holds within the veil

    Christ alone; cornerstone
    Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
    Through the storm, He is Lord
    Lord of all
    He is Lord
    Lord of all"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEhSk7bfbK8

    • Candacejo

      My sons sing this song as worship leaders…LOVE it!!!!

    • Lindsey

      Thank you for the reminder of this song. He is Lord, Lord of all!!! Happy tears and praise be to God!

  • jesusgirl71

    thank you, jesus, for helping me in the trials. Definitely have room for improvement here. Be blessed.

  • Thank you SRT for this series onThankfulness. It brought back so many memories of my dear Mother. This was her theme for her life along with "be content in all things". I am so grateful for her teaching, she was a dear woman of God. I know first Hand how hard it is to always be thankful when you hurt. Only with Gods strength can I do this. Bless you all during this holiday season !

  • Thank you Lord for working through the SRT team to help illuminate your Word in a way that gives us no excuses not to give thanks to our just and holy God for all things. You already know we aren't happy with trials, but you are teaching us, even so, OUR JOY IS IN THE LORD. Thank you!

  • I’ve only caught bits and pieces of this plan but I am so glad today’s was about thanksgiving in suffering. After losing my mother in law last spring I’ve felt this urge to share my story and make others aware of what we’ve walked thru-not to boast in my own doings (because honestly I’ve been a hot mess during all of this!) but because Christ has conquered death and he deserves the glory in the good days and in the bad days too. His strength, his grace and his mercy have carried my husband and I through this dark season and they continue to carry us daily. I am thankful that He considered us worthy to endure such hardship and worthy to look to him when we had no where else to look but up. I pray that you ladies will hold close that thought today. He is so, so good. Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:19 ESV)

  • Oh such a great reminder!!! I sat up last night because of the uncomfortable-ness of my third pregnancy. Of our sick virus that came back with a vengeance while visiting family. And the tears just wouldnt stop.
    Such comfort and relief to know this is just temporary. We can do this. But only with Him!

  • Throughout this current plan I keep having the song ‘Trading my sorrows’ come to mind over and over. I always find it a good reminder and also a way of speaking authority over my life!

    I’m trading my sorrow

    I’m trading my shame

    I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord

    I’m trading my sickness

    I’m trading my pain

    I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord

    I’m pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned

    Struck down but not destroyed

    I’m blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure

    And his joy’s gonna be my strength

    Though the sorrow may last for the night

    His joy comes with the morning

    X

  • “If I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know who could solve them. Wouldn’t know what faith in God could do.” Praying for you Natalie

  • Candacejo

    I totally agree with Diana that it IS okay to say "This HURTS, helps me LORD!" Or even, "I don't understand this God!" And I am sure Natalie and Diana and many others just like them have screamed and cried at the Lord and asked the obvious question, "WHY?!"

    That is NORMAL. HUMAN. BEHAVIOR. IN. THE. MIDST. OF. SUFFERING! Of course we ask why! Of course we feel pain and loss, hurt, rejection, all of those things…so did our Jesus. He wanted to feel those same things FOR us so He could know what we were going through when we come to Him with our hurts, our questions and our sufferings.

    He waits with open arms. He will draw us in. He doesn't promise answers HERE. But He does promise He will never leave us. He will carry us if need be. If we have the infilling of His Spirit, we have Him literally INSIDE of us, He can't leave us!

    Take comfort in Diana's words today. Take comfort in the words of Jesus today. "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

  • Joanne Sher

    So very glad and thankful that our suffering is temporary – and will seem like a trifle in the light of what waits for us! And I loved the reminder that our hope is never in vain if it's in Jesus! Thank you!

  • This is exactly what I spoke of when giving my testimony to our Community Bible Study on what would have been my son’s 8th burthday, earlier this month. The link to the video of my testimony is below. It was not well with our hearts, our minds, our bodies but it was well with our souls.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=0s

    • Candacejo

      Bless you for sharing your story! How beautiful was your testimony of love for your son! I am so sorry for what you must have gone through…I have never known such loss and I cannot relate. But as a mother of sons my heart goes out to you dear sister…and I understand what you said, it is well with our souls. Praying for you today.

    • Valanne

      Beautifully done Natalie. God is most certainly there in our sufferings and you portrayed this so well. I love your families tradition of honoring Allen Michael's birthday.

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