Benefits of Suffering

Shannon Moreno’s post, Benefits of Suffering, really ties into the theme of Faith Writers’ book, Trials and Triumphs. Shannon has also written a great inspirational book called: Finding the Light (Prayerful Poetry). You can find it here: http://revelationsinwriting.wordpress.com

But before you read Shannon’s post, a little business is in order: CONGRATULATIONS . . . .
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You’re the WINNER of:

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Revelations In Writing

Trials and troubles touch the lives of everyone, eventually. Often, when the struggles squeeze, people begin to wonder why. Though I know not all the answers, I appreciate the footnotes found for 2 Corinthians 4:17  that speak of the following benefits of our suffering: (1) They remind us of Christ’s suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they prove our faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate His power.

“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 4:17-18)

Not only should we recognize the opportunities presented in our suffering, but also…

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Lighthouse – Shining God’s Light

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining–they just shine.” Dwight L. Moody

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GOD’S LIGHT SOURCE

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”  – 2 Corinthians 4:6

According to this verse, knowing Jesus Christ is the source of having God’s light and knowledge in our lives. (Related post: Knowing God.) We don’t acquire the light of His salvation through morality, religion, or good deeds; although good deeds follow genuine faith/trust in Christ (James 2:18).

GOD’S LIGHT CARRIERS

I’m glad God doesn’t reserve His glory for the smartest, strongest, wealthiest, or most talented people. I certainly wouldn’t qualify.

God operates differently than the world’s standards. His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). God’s light carriers are described as jars of clay.

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Like jars of clay we are fragile. We crack. We crumble. We break.

But in our weakness—especially in our brokenness—God’s light shines brightest (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

 HOW DO WE DIM GOD’S LIGHT?

We dim God’s light by the following: (1) denial of His light, (2) failure to confess and/or repent of our sins, (3) neglect of sharing our faith, (4) ignoring others’ needs, (5) disobeying God, (6) failing to spend time and/or abide in God, and (7) going along with the crowd.

(This isn’t meant to be an inclusive list.)

HOW DO WE SHINE GOD’S LIGHT?

On a positive note, applying the opposite to the above will result in God’s light shining through us.

Perhaps, we shine brightest when we apply Jesus’ words: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”    Matthew 22:37-40

WANT EXTRA POLISH AND SHEEN?

(It’s free, but like the above, requires focus and resolve.)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”    Philippians 4:8

How’s your shine?

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