Footnotes on Suffering

To sustain us through the tough times, many of us turn to God and to prayer.  In this short article from today’s e-newsletter of the Vision Beyond Borders ministry, we can find encouragement and strength.  Let us allow God’s Holy Word to wash over us and consider Patrick Klein’s remarks as one who has seen suffering beyond what we can even fathom here in the United States of America.  We are blessed to have the freedom to be able to read and share these sentiments today:
Hebrews 12:12-13 says, “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” This is talking about someone who has already been involved in the race. It is someone who has been pursuing the Lord and His purposes, but is growing weary and tired from the race. It is the point when they have hit the wall, and must dig deep to keep persevering.
When we feel burdened beyond our own strength to endure, it is then that we must remember not to rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead! We don’t want to start well then grow tired, but to be those who persevere, endure and finish well. We can’t do that in our own strength, but only through Jesus and only by setting His example continually before us; by looking to Jesus the author and FINISHER of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2)
This passage also tells us to make level paths for our feet. The word for paths here is “trochia”. It is literally translated as an imprint left by wheels – like a rut. We must realize that we are all leaving a rut in the ground for others to follow. No matter where God has us, there are people who are looking to us and our example. We must be careful that the path we are leaving is one that is level and straight, that it will not cause others to stumble, but it will be one of healing!
This passage comes directly after God explains how we are to persevere in the midst of our suffering, knowing God uses it to strengthen us…and not just us, but those who come after us! May He strengthen us to persevere for His Kingdom and His Glory. May we be a vessel of His healing as we leave a straight path for others!
I do pray that all of us wherever we are in the world will be healed of our infirmities in this life.  We know that by His stripes we are healed from the consequences of sin and death (1 Peter 2:24), by repenting and believing in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).  We know that one day there will be no more pain and suffering (Rev 21:4).  While it is possible that it may happen in each of our lifetimes, there are no guarantees of this per se.  Rather than be discouraged, join me in being encouraged that all pain and suffering can be used for His glory if we but keep our eyes fixed on Him, persevere, and endure.  The trials can be used to strengthen us, lead others to the Source of our strength, and mature us (James 1:4) for our eternal reward in heaven (Rev 22:12).
And that, gentle readers, is enough to get me up and running again every time.  Even today when out of sorts.  How about you?
Thomas Kinkaid:  The Cross
Thomas Kinkaid: The Cross

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