Suffering and My Relationship to God

Afflictions increase my awareness of God’s sustaining power. God is the one who upholds me through my afflictions. Realizing this gives me a deeper appreciation for his grace and power that sustain. Psalm 68:19: Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Suffering bankrupts me, making me dependent on God. When afflictions overwhelm me, I look to our powerful God who can provide stability and balance. 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Through suffering, my spirit is broken; I am humbled and emptied. God pours out his healing and help on those whose hearts are broken and submissive. Psalm 51:17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Suffering leads me to discernment and knowledge; it drives me to God’s statutes. My obedience in hardship helps me see things from God’s point of view. Psalm 119:66–67, 71: Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.… It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The weaker I am, the harder I must lean on God’s grace; the harder I lean on him, the stronger I discover him to be, and the bolder my testimony to his grace. 2 Timothy 1:7–8: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the Gospel, by the power of God.

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