Thankful Thursday! December 20, 2018

Thank you, Lord, for:

Sweet time (brunch) with my (Wednesday) Strength class ladies.

I love my outdoor classes...especially in this gorgeous fall weather!!  

Breakfast after class together!🤗

Lex and Tru here baking cookies!  Then Ren came over as well!🤗 

“Hiking” on my hillside with Tru.  He laughed so hard at the crunch of leaves!😂🤣

All my dear sons together at Whitty’s game!💜

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. —2 CORINTHIANS 4

 

Hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed? Anyone who thinks the Bible doesn’t face suffering head-on hasn’t read it. Yet, while outwardly wasting away, those who draw on Christ within, who listen to God’s Holy Spirit speak to them through his Word, and who gather with the church, Christ’s body, can be renewed day after day.

Robert Rogers’s entire family drowned in a 2003 Kansas flash flood. In a moment, he lost his beloved wife and all four of his children. This Christ-centered family went to church, tithed, read the Bible, and prayed together. After the disaster, Robert entered a dark world of Job-like suffering.

We need only to read Scripture, or look around us, or live long enough in order to learn that trusting God doesn’t ward off all evil and suffering. He never said it would. In fact, he said just the opposite … but with a promise: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33).

On the worst day of his life, his ten children taken from him, Job worshiped God. On the worst day of his life, when a flood swept away his wife and four children, Robert Rogers turned to God in worship. He told me he did so because he felt his loss so deeply that he could not lose the one object he had left to grab on to: God. He couldn’t function, couldn’t go on living, without worshiping God.

Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8: 18)

 “Well,” a critic might say, “such affirmations reflect the naive idealism of someone insulated from evil and suffering.” But the apostle Paul made these statements. He’d suffered through hunger, thirst, cold,

imprisonment, murderous mob attacks, and repeated beatings and floggings—five times within an inch of his life. He described himself as “exposed to death again and again.” This is what Paul means by “our present sufferings” and “our light and momentary troubles.”

Paul insists that our sufferings will result in our greater good—God’s people will be better off eternally because they suffer temporarily. From Paul’s perspective, this trade-off will in eternity prove to be a great bargain.

In fact, the argument for the greater good may be the strongest biblical case for God’s permitting evil and suffering. However, this requires trust on our part, since the promised greater good is future and we can’t see it in the present. Faith is called for, since we do not know everything God knows. But instead of trusting ourselves and our flawed judgment, we can choose to trust the one who has an eternal plan of sovereign grace and has gone to inconceivable lengths to see that it will be accomplished.

Lord, you tell us that though it may seem heavy, compared to eternal glory, our current suffering is light and momentary. You tell us not to fix our eyes on popular culture, not on fleeting accomplishments and wealth, but upon what is eternal, what will still matter a billion years from now. Remind us to focus on you, our soon-returning Savior, instead of on our suffering. Give us the eyes of faith. Don’t wait until tomorrow, Lord, for we need faith today, this very moment. “

 

Excerpt from Ninety Day’s of God’s Goodness, by Randy Alcorn