1' "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter." 1 Peter 4:16.
Perhaps the greatest secret of the saints of old was-
- their ability to praise God amid the afflictions of life.
Saint Francis de Sales-
- once wrote to a friend who was undergoing stresses at home, saying:
"The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God's loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him; and if sometimes you are put out and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure." '
This is great! God never told us bad stuff won't happen. But what He does want from us is an attitude in our heart and our outward actions that say, 'Things stink right now, but I know that God is in control and that means I'm going to be fine." God doesn't want us to hide that fact that tough times are with us either. How is anyone else going to know that tough times happen to Christians too. Its just that as believers in Christ we should have a hope of better things to come, a look about us that's not stressed out but trusting that our God is bigger than our problem.
When I had a back injury and was suffering through alot of pain a wonderful friend put it this way for me, she said that God uses our situation to show others how they should act in similar situations. That just freed me up so much. Instead of being struck down with an injury God was using me. Me of all people, to be an example to someone else. That is how we glorify God. Not by hiding our failings, not by saying we're ok when we're not, instead by going through it with grace and tact and humility knowing that God has such a bigger plan for us than we know.
I believe it is in James that the bible says to count it all joy when trouble comes. That's because we tend to see the trouble and not the lesson, we feel the pain and think there is no end. And that's ok too, but after you find yourself on this path...dust yourself off and walk forward toward the light. God doesn't love your neighbor more than you, He loves us all the same. And the coolest part is that He loves the one who doesn't believe as much as He loves the believer. God is the author of our lives, what we see as trouble, the Lord sees as opportunity. Change your perspective and you can change your life.
1) Taken from "My Manna" July 4, 2009