Thursday, April 6, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Last night we attended our weekly community home group with our church and the topic we discussed was that on suffering. Our pastor preached about this weighty subject on Sunday and it was both convicting and encouraging.

I find it no coincidence that yesterday I also came across two different articles on suffering. As you may remember if you follow my blog, I posted a couple weeks ago that God has given Josh and I some trials lately and I feel like although it has been very difficult, God is doing something good through it all and He has given us a renewed hope in His promises and in His faithfulness.

If you wish to read either article than the first one is here and the second is here. Both were terrific and very uplifting to me. The second article focused on the Christianity cliche of "God will never give you more than you can handle". Whenever I hear that phrase I cringe. Not only is it more discouraging that it is intended to sound, it is also wildly unbiblical.

Paul states in 2 Corinthians 4:17: "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." As the author of the article states in closing: "You might not consider overwhelming sufferings to be "light" and "momentary," but think of your trials in terms of a trillion years from now. In the middle of affliction, sometimes the most difficult thing to hold onto is an eternal vision. Paul isn't trying to minimize your affliction, he's trying to maximize your perspective."

He continues, "Suffering doesn't get the last line in the script. In this life, God will give you more than you can handle, but the coming weight of glory will be greater than you can imagine."

I recently purchased a lemon tree after desiring one for years. It has several tiny lemons and a few little blooms among the leaves. Those blooms will eventually shrivel up and fall off the tree but behind them lies the coveted fruit of the tree itself: the lemon. Examining the tree today I was reminded that many times God brings trials and tribulations in our lives to not only strengthen our faith and trust in Him but also to sanctify us and make us rely solely on Him for our joy and contentment. He is producing fruit in us that we may not see now but "is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison."

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