Genuine Faith, Part II

Oh, how I hate suffering! Even the slightest discomfort brings me to the edge. Yet I need to learn to endure it better. We all do. Let’s face it. We all suffer. There is no way to avoid it. We have two choices when it comes to suffering. We can allow ourselves to be miserable, thus prolonging our suffering and making it worse. Or, we can allow Christ to work through our suffering.

It is the latter that I believe brings us into genuine faith. Saint Paul tells us:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement. (1 Corinthians 1:3-7)

So often I get angry and resentful in my suffering. I also have a tendency to become withdrawn and discouraged. I become so wrapped up in myself that I don’t see how it is affecting myself, my family, my relationship with God. As I stated in Part I, genuine faith requires a complete self denial. It requires a complete self denial when it comes to our prayer, and it also requires a complete self denial when it comes to suffering. If we can allow Christ to work through our suffering, if we can just let go of ourselves, then we will receive His encouragement. This will then allow us to encourage others in their suffering. Allowing Christ to work through our suffering will remove the selfish tendencies that we have. Allowing Christ to work through our suffering will bring us closer to genuine faith. For “if we are afflicted it is for your encouragement and salvation.”

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Published in: on June 9, 2009 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

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