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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Inspired by . . . mountains and valleys

I've been writing more about suffering and trials than JOY and blessing here lately. For a blog that is supposed to inspire that may seem a little out of context.

But we all go through seasons. Mountain tops and valleys. We learn and grow in our faith from both experiences. And, I believe, we can learn and grow from the experiences of others.

There is no doubt in my mind that God uses everything in our lives. Nothing is wasted. I believe He encourages and inspires others when we share honestly, according to His will.

A favorite verse of mine is 2 Corinthians 1:4;
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2Co 1:3-4)
The First5.org group (if you're not familiar with them, check them out) is studying Suffering and Sovereignty for the next five weeks. The books of Job, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes. The timing couldn't be more perfect.

God's sovereignty is key to understanding and contending with our suffering and the suffering of others. [click to tweet 

The book of Job teaches this like no other book in the bible. In light of Job's almost inconceivable suffering, we, the reader, are given a glimpse behind the scenes into the reason behind his suffering. Something Job and his friends don't have and something we almost never have in our own suffering.

While the purpose of our suffering is not likely that of Job's, the fact is that there is a purpose. Just knowing this truth gives us hope in our affliction.

The passages in Job where God speaks are awe-inspiring and humbling. They remind us Who God IS and where our focus and attention should remain during times of trials as well as blessings.

I'm reminded of what a favorite author of mine, Lori Wick, once said in the context of one of her stories: we shouldn't compare our suffering to someone else's, "It could be worse..." etc. Rather we should view our suffering in light of eternal life. [click to tweet]

Yes, we may be suffering, we may even have to endure tragedy in this life, but it is truly a light and momentary affliction when compared to eternity and the LIFE we have in Christ.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2Co 4:17-18)

Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June