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Archive for the ‘suffering’ Category

George Lawson reminds us of some important truths to keep in mind–especially when we experience deep suffering and loss.  He knew the Tittle family in Arkansas–the family who buried three loved ones yesterday and whose house was leveled to the ground by the tornado that hit last Sunday.  Great and needed words here:

Out of all the places for a tornado to touch down in Little Rock, why the Tittles’ home? Not only were 3 out of 11 family members taken but their entire two story home was reduced to the concrete foundation it was built on.

Was God caught off guard? Did He not know?

Was God aware but just powerless to prevent this disaster? Was He not able?

Or was God so preoccupied with some other place in the universe, that He ignored the inevitable path of the storm? Did He not care?

A god, that does not know, is not able or does not care, is a small and pathetic deity, who is not worthy of worship, adoration or trust. Ultimately a small god can offer no comfort for what happened on Sunday night. None.tittle family

The only God sufficient for a Big Storm is a Big God — The omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent God of the Bible. He hasn’t lost control. He is the One who has “established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). He is the One who declares “the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done” (Isaiah 46:10). He is “God Almighty” (Genesis 17:1) who fills “the heavens and the earth” (Jeremiah 23:24). And He is also the One who is the “Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). What comfort would a small god be able to offer anyone?

Read the rest of  Small God, Big Storm

 

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Some excellent reminders in this 9 minute video where three men who have all experienced tragedy and suffering in their life recount some life lessons God taught them. Watch it, absorb it, share it!

[vimeo 71931147]

More at  God’s Goodness in Your Pain 

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Two professors from Baptist Bible College in PA reflect on their health situations. One suffers with an incurable condition of recurring and intense pain.  The other has stage 4 cancer.  Two moving articles entitled by men whose world has crashed down on them.

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                   Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Ps. 20:7

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

     The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

A prayer by Scotty Smith     

Dear heavenly Father, though it’s not a fun thing, it’s a good thing—it’s an essential thing, even afreeing thing to realize how little control we have over people, places and things.

For only by acknowledging the limits of our humanity will we rest in the beauty of your sovereignty; only by giving up trying to control our circumstances will we come to rejoice in your providences; only by accepting messes as a part of life will we turn to your mercies in the midst of strife; only by crying “Uncle!” will we learn to cry “Abba!”

Father, as this day begins, (and continues), settle our restless hearts and relax our desperate grip on stories, hearts and situations for which your grace alone is sufficient. We turn from our version of “horses and chariots,” and acknowledge that our trust is in you.

By the truth of the gospel, the pledge of your faithfulness and the power of your Spirit, we trust you with people, for whom we have great concerns—even fear and anger. May “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6) trump our penchant for “worry expressing itself through meddling.”

We trust you with our unresolved conflicts and broken relational stories. In Jesus, you have commissioned us as ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20) and called us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Father, we need special grace, for sometimes the emotional toll and toil of messy relationships makes us want to join Jonah on a ship to Tarshish.

Lastly, Father, we trust you with our health (it often feels so fragile); our wealth (because it’s so fleeting and deceptive), our plans (for you alone know the future); and our heart (for it is yours, though we often pawn it off).

It’s because of your great and grace-full love for us in Jesus that we make our prayer, acknowledge our fears, and surrender our trust. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ safe and strong name.

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Paul Tautges asks “Do the troubles of life ever leave you so wiped out physically, mentally, and emotionally that all you can do is squeak out “God, help me!”? Then Psalm 121 is for you. What solid encouragement the psalmist penned for us there! Here’s an outline for your own personal study or small group discussion.”

1. God will help you because He is your Creator (vv. 1-2)

Also meditate on Isaiah 40:21-26

2. God will help you because He is your Keeper (vv. 3-5)

Also meditate on 2 Kings 6:8-18; 1 John 4:4

3. God will help you because He is your Protector (vv. 6-8)

Also meditate on Isaiah 49:10; John 10:27-30

May the Lord use His Word to feed your weary soul today!

Help Comes from the Lord

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Mark Talbot, who has suffered from a chronic condition all of his life, talks about the longing for and hope for wholeness available to those who suffer continually.

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Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

Chorus:
God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone

Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows

Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming.

Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend. Hear it sung here.

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