This morning I sat down at what was seemingly my breaking point. My stress and suffering was beginning to wear on me. I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, and overworked and while I began to see my frustration I sat down to look at Jesus and his life. Over the past week I have been reading the book of Colossians and in that I have grown so much. This morning I left off at Colossians 1:24-29/2:1-5. In this passage Paul expressed the importance of his diligence to God’s work, his obedience and his suffering. On my daily reading with the Good Morning Girls, Whitney asks, “What are the keys to being effective for Christ in the midst of challenging circumstances?” This particular question reminded of how selfish I am and how much more that everything I go through or do is all for the glory of God. It caused me to redirect my thinking and turn my thoughts, anger, frustration and stress over to the Lord in return for his joy. In verse 29 Paul says, “For this I toil struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works in me.”(ESV) (“That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.”NLT) As a Christian living under God, it is important for me not to rely on myself but to pull and draw from the Lord in everything that I do. The bible reminds us of how weak we are and that through the Strength of the Lord are we able to live and breathe and have our being.
Acts 17: 24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. (NLT)
How great is it to depend on the giver of life, the one who can’t be satisfied by anything we give who is high above every name if we decide to bow down to him or not! I asked myself, “when I am frustrated or at the point of breaking am I really fully relying on God and the power that comes from him? Am I really depending on the hope that Jesus gave? Am I really relinquishing my right in exchange for the Lordship of Jesus? I think you can conclude my answer.
From Paul we can grasp that we can rejoice in the Lord through our suffering because of who we are in Christ and that through our suffering, though it is okay for us to be human, we should be diligent in the work that God has called us to. It is in our suffering that God is glorified. Also, that we cannot by any means depend on our own strength to get us through any of this. Jesus is Lord because we couldn’t do this by ourselves. He is Lord because we could not satisfy the wrath of God with our own being or sacrifices. Jesus is the only thing that has pleased the Lord and that is continually pleasing the Lord and because of that we can only walk according to his Lordship, honoring the Lord by walking in the steps of Jesus to do the work that we were called to. So the key to being effective for Christ in the midst of circumstances is relying on the strength of the Son and the joy that the Lord has already given to us in that.
I pray that God gives joy to the one who is struggling to suffer in his name today and peace in the midst of that to understand that God is in control of all things at all times, not just when we can’t figure out the answer to our problem.
WEEKLY CHALLENGE: Are you in the midst of a challenging circumstance? Ask a trusted friend to pray that God will give you joy in the midst of your struggle, and that He will use you during your struggle in whatever way He sees fit, for His glory. Then have that friend keep you accountable in the days and weeks to come! (From the Good Morning Girls)
2 thoughts on “Joy in suffering”
You kept me riveted on your subject here, Nykiah! Even the verses you chose speak volumes on how God is able to do through us what we cannot do on our own. I feel that struggle to suffer–to lay it all down at His feet every day. And I too am going through something that has often exhausted and frustrated me–precisely because I often refuse to lay it down! So I lift you up, sweet sister in your struggles and desire your prayers on my behalf as well. Thanks so much for linking this gem of wisdom up at Wedded Wed.
Thank you so much for your encouraging words Beth! Thank you also for having my back in the body! Lifting you up in prayer as well. 😉 Always a pleasure linking up!
Blessings to you!