Journal Entry ~ 02/22/18

18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.  - Psalm 34:18-19

Few things depict the gospel more clearly than moments of suffering. So often, when we read these verses,  we believe and we pray that His deliverance from our afflictions is relief from our trials, but we miss the purpose of our trials. We think the comfort He promises comes from rescuing us from the trial, but solving the problems in the way we want them solved isn't where the comfort is to be found. The comfort comes from a greater understanding of who He is. It comes from changing our perspective and shifting where we place our hope. 

Living in this broken world, our sinful hearts place our hope in all the wrong things...material possessions, our job, our children, our homes, or even relationships. We look for life in these things, and when they fail us, that's when we end up broken hearted, looking for His comfort.  If only I had *this*, or when *that* happens, I'll be happy.  We've got it so wrong. 

Suffering reminds us where life is to be found - not in the house you live in, your health, the dream, your children, your husband.  Life is a person and His name is Jesus.  Why is the loss of the things we value so painful?  Why is the loss of a friendship, a marriage, a job, or a dream so difficult?  Because we define life as these things, and we place our hopes in them. 

In those dark moments of suffering, life has not ended.  Could it be that you are making your suffering worse by the things that you're saying to yourself?  Could it be that you feel so broken hearted because the things you have placed your hope in are the wrong things?  

We live in a fallen world.  The fact that we are God’s children does not get us a ticket out of it. Suffering is the universal experience of all humans.  Romans 8 reminds us that plan is meant to be redemptive. And here's the truth you will learn about yourself one way or another —> we esteem comfortable living more than we esteem redemption. We don't seek redemption as much as we seek an easy life. So many people live their life believing "what I want is a comfortable life...if you give me the comfortable life I want, then I'll tell people about you, then I'll sing your praises, then I'll serve."  

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people claim they cannot serve others, or commit to small group, because there's "just too much going on right now."  If that's not evidence that you're wrapped up in your world, your needs, your self, I don't know what is. The deeper we are in a trial, the more we should shift our focus to others because that's what God's trying to do for us - He's trying to shift our focus off of ourselves. If you are open to God revealing to you where you esteem comfortable living more than you esteem redemption, He will show you. That's when you'll find His comfort. 

Press on, ladies ~ you are loved 💗


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