Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No one likes suffering. No one likes pain. No one likes hurt. No one likes these things, so do you think it would be better if we didn't have to endure any of these? I would like to say yes, but I know better. I know that I am a better person today, because of painful experiences. I have learned the most and grown the most because of experiences that I would rather have avoided.

Hebrews 2:10 "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings."

If Jesus had to suffer, how are we any different or any better?

My Bible's commentary says this - His perfect obedience (which led Him down the road of suffering) demonstrates that He was the complete sacrifice for us. Through suffering Jesus completed the work necessary for our own salvation. Our suffering can make us more sensitive servants of God. People who have known pain are able to reach out with compassion to others who hurt. If you have suffered, ask God how your experience can be used to help others.

Have you had the boldness and courage to ask God to use your pain? I hadn't, but felt God prompting me to for a long time. I was so worried about what others would think of me or what they would say about me that I put Him off. God had been asking me to give my testimony at church but I declined. I felt His calling stronger and stronger and then when the pastor came to me and asked me if I would, I knew I had to obey. In complete fear, I stood before the congregation and shared my past. Petrified of what people were going to say to me afterward, I tried to sneak out as quickly as I could but was overwhelmed by the positive response and the assurance of people's love. I was humbled when I received a phone call later that day from a high school student that wanted to meet with me and talk about how his life was much like the one I had described of myself. We were able to build a trusting friendship that continues today as I encourage him to follow Christ.

This was only the beginning for me. Since, God has shown me that His plan for me is to share my most embarrassing and hurtful mistakes with others to bring them encouragement and comfort. These are my deepest, darkest secrets that I want to hid within my heart, forever, but God has shown me that by sharing how He has pulled me from those deep pits in my life, I can give His hope to others.

What have you been hiding? What is pushed so deep down that you want it there, forever? Be bold and ask God how you can use your past to share His hope and power with those around you.

Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

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