But here's the good news...

My dear friend, Diane, is going through multiple trials; more than one person ever needs to go through. Her mom, husband, brother and son all have relentless medical issues, and she is overcoming recent severe neck and shoulder pain.  

She might not think so, but even though clearly distressed, she is radiant. Yesterday, while sharing with me her current dilemma, she added, "But here's the good news... I’m growing in faith, ...”

Though going through unimaginable heartache, she was able to see the “good news.”  Then when writing this post, I came across these words of wisdom shared by another friend, Penny Musco -

  • The apostle Paul was someone who knew all about danger. He had several adventures, scrapes and near escapes - blindness, persecution, stoning, arrest and beatings, death threats, shipwreck — even a snake bite! Sometimes, though, I have a hard time with Paul’s conclusion in 2 Cor. 4:8-9: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” But I have felt crushed, despairing, forsaken or destroyed, I argue. And that’s my problem in a nutshell: I may be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down, but my feelings aren’t in charge—God is. And if He says He won’t let things get to the point of no return, then I’ve got to trust Him to work it out. And that’s just what Paul concludes too: his sufferings were “in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God” (2 Cor. 1:9). So simple… yet so hard to do!

When we are in the crucible of pain, He is suffering, too. We know “He was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Is 53:3). And we know that “He bore our sins” (1 Pet. 2:24). But so often we forget, at least I do, that He not only bore our sins, but He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows as well:

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried
Isaiah 53:4

To know that we are not alone in the struggle is good news indeed. Like Paul, I eagerly “want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection”. Yet, do I also want the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.”? (Phil 3:20)
To be honest, not so much. Yet, it’s two sides of the same coin, and there are hidden benefits to the suffering. Our faith grows strong in the rich soil moistened by our tears. Our countenance begins to reflect Him more as He inhabits us more. And therefore, we can conclude:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:28, 37-39

Are you struggling today, my friend? Can I pray for you? Please leave your prayer request in the comments or email me.
And would you pray for another friend of mine, Pam, who is in now critical condition having contracted malaria while on a mission trip to Uganda? My daughter is scheduled to lead a youth mission trip to Uganda in July. Please pray for her and the other workers for Touch the World Uganda. Thank you.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

I pray that Pam will recover and continue to go on mission trips. A good friend of mind is a missionary in the Volta Region of Ghana. She survived a bout of malaria years ago.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Will pray for your friends. Good post.

Have a good weekend,

Terri Tiffany said...

Yes I will pray right now! Thank you for this post. It ministered to me today,

Maria I. Morgan said...

Beautiful post, Susan! What a wonderful attitude your friend Diane has chosen to adopt! God DOES use trials and heartaches to conform us to the image of Christ! Thankfully He doesn't give us more than we can bear! Praying for your friend, Pam and for your daughter as she leads this mission trip to Uganda. God bless you bunches!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Susan,

I SO agree, my feelings are NOT in charge, God is. As a woman, that statement can be a challenge, but I'm committed to walking in out.

A prayer for your daughter:
"Father, I lift up Susan's daughter and declare you protection over her and the entire mission team as they head to Uganda in July. Order their steps, give them wisdom, strength, discernment and favor, in Jesus name, Amen."

P.S. I have a friend on a mission trip in Uganda right now (with her 2 teen kids)!

quietspirit said...

I will be adding Pam, Diane and your daughter to my prayer list.
My husband's sister died on Thursday. Her funeral is Monday. We have questions about her belongings.
God has been good through all this.