Why Our Suffering Is Never Wasted

Desiring God | 12/6/2019 | Vaneetha Rendall Risner
hoppers911hoppers911 (Posted by) Level 4
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Recently I was hurt by a friend over an insensitive comment she made. My first response was to get upset, and then I began mentally cataloging a list of grievances — remembering all the other times I’d been hurt by her.

It might have ended there, but when I came across these words from A.W. Tozer, I started thinking differently about the situation:

Everything - Christlike - Deal - Anxiety

When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.

Everything that is happening to me is to make me more Christlike. Nothing is excluded. Joy and pain. Peace and turmoil. Fullness and emptiness. Suffering and ease. People who love and care for me. And people who hurt or ignore me.

God - Everything - Christlike - Struggles - Christ

Being aware that God is using everything to make me more Christlike does make me less anxious. My struggles, in Christ, are not God’s condemnation (Romans 8:1). God is always for me (Romans 8:32). He designs all my circumstances for my everlasting good (Romans 8:28). Everything in my life can direct me to Christ. Indeed, it should.

Suddenly, I stopped fretting about my friend’s comment and pondered why God might have brought this situation into my life. It was a simple question, but the answers revealed more about my heart than hers. My friend’s actions were an avenue for God to reveal a layer of sin in my life that I otherwise would have glossed over. As I saw the sin in my response, I was able to confess it to God and repent.

God - Heart - Attention - Irritation - Invitation

Whenever I feel annoyed or frustrated or angry, perhaps God is inviting me to examine my own heart instead of focusing my attention outward. Perhaps my irritation is an invitation from the Lord to go deeper with him. God may be doing something far more important and...
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