Posts Tagged ‘life’

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said, “Despair is suffering without meaning.”

The problem of evil. Atheists and Theists alike seek resolution to human suffering. Does any one group hold the secret salve that eliminates meaningless suffering?  If you are an atheist and you don’t mind my inquisitive mind, where do you find hope in the midst of suffering?  I am not asking to be facetious, I truly want to understand your viewpoint. So if you don’t mind taking a few minutes of your time, please post a response. I learn so much about life from my atheist friends, many have had very thoughtful insights and I would love to hear from you, too.

Philip Yancey wrote a book originally printed in 1977 called Where is God When It Hurts?  In it he examined human suffering and interviewed many people who had experienced horrific trauma. What I learned from these precious souls is that life hurts…a lot, but they insisted suffering is bearable when it has meaning. Those who have suffered the most understand this truth to an extent that most of us can never appreciate.

Is suffering necessary? I don’t think so, I don’t think that we were designed for suffering, we were designed to love and to be loved. Much of human suffering seems to be caused by other humans, and sometimes it is self-inflicted. And what about all those innocent children suffering form disease, poverty and crime? In many dark corners of this world, love seems to be absent. So how can suffering have meaning?

I want to share a story with you.

One sunny afternoon, I was pushing my precious, brown-eyed baby boy in his swing in the courtyard. It was one of those days when I woke up and thought, “Life is good! God is good!” The sky was such a bright clear blue that the purity of it caused me to immediately take in a deep thankful breath. Joshua giggled at some playful squirrels near the oak. It was one of those moments when my heart could not contain the emotions swelling inside, and I spontaneously laughed out loud.

And then a still small voice whispered in my ear.

“Nancy, will you give your son up for suffering?”

Startled at the cruel intrusion, I froze. What mother in her right mind would agree to such a request? “Absolutely not! And I’ll fight anyone who tries to hurt my baby! I’ll make them wish they were dead!”  I trembled as a mixture of fear and anger bubbled in my gut. I felt nauseous, my head pounded with a whirlwind of thoughts–horrific terrifying thoughts. My eyes graced my son’s trusting cherub face and in desperation disguised as defiance I shouted, “God, you cannot have my son!”

What was I saying? Didn’t I trust God? He created my baby, He knew better than anyone what would be best for him, right? That is what the preacher said on Sunday. And defying God is not a very “Christian” thing to do. Where was my belief? But how could a good God allow my child to suffer? How can Joshua’s suffering be good? No, I didn’t trust Him. God wanted to hurt my beautiful perfect son.

Every mother wants a better life for her child. I had to protect him from the prowling lion seeking to devour him, to shield him from torrential storm threatening to snatch him out of my loving arms. Like most women, I have known loss, sickness, loneliness and rejection. I pride myself on being a survivor, an overcomer, a fighter. As I contemplated all of the life lessons I planned to endow upon my son, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t the tranquil times in my life that created my strength of character. 

Was I the strong woman I am today inspite of the suffering I have endured? No, because of it. The abundance of priceless life lessons that I impart to Josh, I only have to give because I have known suffering. His inheritance is a string of pearls cultured with my pain.

“I will never leave Joshua nor forsake him. He will trust Me because he will know Me and recognize my voice. My words will encourage him daily. He will walk with Me and I will comfort him. When he is weary from the journey, I will carry him. He will lean on My promises and live in My grace.  Many will be encouraged by the strength of his character and the depth of his faith.  He will become a conduit of My love and His life will bring hope to many hurting people. Nancy, I have begun a good work in Joshua and I promise to carry it on to completion. Do you trust me?”

I felt an overwhelming peace that I could not explain as I sensed the loving arms of my Creator embrace me. I swept up my little gift from God and with grateful tears flowing from my healed heart I surrendered all.

Romans 5:1-5  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

1 Cor. 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever crawled through a wilderness, chained by the weight of the past?  Have you ever been thirsty for something more than this menial existence has provided?  Do the wounds from your journey throb with each tedious step that you take? 

 

 

Jeremiah 2:13 says,” My people have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” 

 

There is a spring of living water found in Jesus Christ.  In Him you will find all that you’ve ever longed for.  In Him the aching in your heart will be stilled, and you will know the fulfillment of your dreams.  Yet, how often do we turn to dig our own cisterns with the belief that they will quench our thirst, heal our scars, and fill our emptiness. 

Perhaps it’s the cistern of money, offering security and pleasure.  Or maybe you’ve dug a reservoir within yourself, meant to hold knowledge and independence.  Still, there is the constant lure to hewn for sufficiency in the strength of others.  These are all splintered promises and cracked dreams, holding only a façade of joy. 

Nevertheless, we toil without ceasing, trying to keep the walls from crashing in around us.  We lie awake at night, disappointed and broken; wondering what went wrong.  While we strive and struggle, the spring of hope continues its peaceful surge, waiting for us to come and drink. 

So, here before you stands a choice.  Which will you choose:  life or death, fulfillment or emptiness?  A shattered vessel will never fill the longing of your heart, but the sweet taste of the Savior’s love will quench your thirst forever.

 

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians records the gospel as it was preached by the early church. Some estimates have placed this creed to 6 A.D., the year that Christ is thought to have been crucified. This is the same gospel that Christians today profess belief in.

 

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

 

You may still have questions. Could all this be true? Does a theistic God exist? What about the Bible, it’s so old how can it be relevant or even true? I encourage you to post your questions here. What do you have to lose? You just might find what you’re looking for—answers to the meaning of life.

 

Continue praying for the salvation of the middle east and all of those suffering in bondage to lies. The dawn is breaking, there is hope.

Isaiah 9:2

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

Top Hamas Leader’s Son Converts to Christianity
By Ethan Cole

The son of a top Hamas leader has converted to Christianity and prays someday his family will also accept Jesus Christ as their savior, an Israeli newspaper reported.

Masab Yousef, son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, revealed for the first time in an exclusive interview with Haaretz newspaper that he has left Islam and is now a Christian. Prior to the interview’s publication last Thursday, Yousef’s family did not know of his faith conversion even though he is in regular contact with them.

“[T]his interview will open many people’s eyes, it will shake Islam from the roots, and I’m not exaggerating,” Yousef, who now resides in the United States, said. “What other case do you know where a son of a Hamas leader, who was raised on the tenets of extremist Islam, comes out against it?”

Yousef, who is now 30-years-old, was first exposed to Christianity eight years ago while in Jerusalem where out of curiosity he accepted an invitation to hear about Christianity. Afterwards, he became “enthusiastic” about what he heard and would secretly read the Bible every day. . . .

For his part, Yousef says he hopes to “open the eyes” of Muslims and “reveal the truth” to them about Islam and Christianity with the goal to “take them out of the darkness and the prison of Islam.” . . .

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080804/top-hamas-leader-s-son-converts-to-christianity.htm

 

John 3:16-21

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Believers who live by the truth of the light draw the lost out of darkness. Loving the unlovable, forgiving the unforgivable and granting mercy to the unmerciful. Grace is not the cost of salvation it is a privilege for those who have received it to share it. Today pray for those who are blinded by the darkness and that our light will shine so brightly and consistently that those in bondage will be drawn to it and find true freedom at the cross. 

 On a personal note, I especially want to lift up my evolutionist friends at Florida Citizens for Science. One need only read the comments made on their blog to recognize the fear and the hate perpetrated by such “citizen” groups existing for the sole purpose of stripping our freedoms and silencing the truth. I posted a dissenting opinion on their blog and it did not take long for them to beautifully illustrate my point. It is good to be a “lunatic” for Christ.

Job 21:14-15

 
14     Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We have no desire to know your ways.
15     Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?’

 

  

The focus of planning according to the Lord’s will is not trying to decipher the details of your life such as who you will marry, what job you will get, or where you will live as if consulting a fortune teller. Planning according to the Lord’s will is about ensuring that the plans you make are in align with His precepts. 

 

 

Does your potential mate have a growing faith in Christ and is your relationship pure?  Does the job you are considering still allow you to put God and family first?  Is the home you want to purchase affordable and still allow you to give generously?  We sometimes fret over details trying to figure out what God wants us to do, when if we examine our desires and plans in light of scripture His truth always reigns. 

 

 

God’s word is black and white; the gray only exists in man’s heart.  Are you struggling with a decision right now?  Is it possible that you know the answer, but it is not what you want to hear?  Most of the time our problem lies in a failure to obey not in a failure to know God’s will. 

 

 Deut. 30:19-20  19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

 

Today commit to choose life – a life that honors God, so that you will love Him well, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.