Romans 5: 1-5 Perfectly states...
'Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.'
While many people look at tragedies, cruelties, traumas, and the suffering in their lives, and that of those around them, their natural reaction is to despair. I would like to kindle a fire of a better and more lovely way to see it.
Suffering is a tool of sanctification. God can use our suffering for his own holy will, if we exercise our faith and fully rely on him and trust in him. 2Tim1:7 'For God has not given us a spirit of fear' (or timidity or cowardice) 'but He has given us a spirit of power and love and self control'
Out of my own experiences with suffering, God brought me to him, and I am now blessed to be a living testimony that God is holy, Christ is my savior, and He can and will use all things for his own Glory indeed! Glory to God in the highest hosanna!
I have often felt that when people learned of my past and my current obstacles their response is that of sadness or sympathy or sometimes even pity. I was born to drug addicts and alcoholics who did not know God or have Christ Jesus as their kids. I struggled to keep myself and my infant brother alive by sneaking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches home in my diaper so that he wouldn't die. We were separated soon after the state placed Us in foster care. We had already suffered severe neglect, physical and sexual abuse and were only days to a week away from death. I was 9 before I was adopted by my parents (Michael and Brenda). Because of my beginnings I was troubled and couldn't bond with anyone and as a child always felt like I was a "bad kid". I ran away when I was 16 due to my inability to accept love and to give love.
Fast forward a few years and things had gotten better. I had had a beautiful son Aiden, my own place, and I was doing well; although I had to become distant from God.
Then it happened. I fell for a scam that was fronting as Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the poor in Mexico. I talked with my son's father to see if I could go for 3 months and then return home. I was so excited! I had even talked to the woman on the phone who had helped me arrange the tickets down and given me all the information I needed for crossing the bridge from Texas into Mexico.
I'll spare the details, but as soon as I crossed over I realized I had been lied to. I was immediately taken deep into Mexico and spent 3 years figuring out how to get home.
Now, many who hear my story respond with shock. But, I do not. I look at each and everything and I see that God was there he is everywhere and in everything!
Duet. 6:5 Tells us clearly:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind.
Not a little bit, not half, but ALL! The amazing thing about that is that as soon as you do, you start to understand there is no tragedy, no suffering, there is nothing to dismay. Because God uses all things for good.
Romans 8:28 tells us that...
'And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.'
Gen. 50:20 also says...
'As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good'.
These scriptures are clearly demonstrating the point I would like to make; God is mighty and when we serve Him as we should the beauty in everything becomes apparent and fear is far from you. "Perfect love casts out fear' I would testify that only God's love is perfect, and when you receive it that is exactly what happens.
You don't have to be perfect, or brave, or have any super abilities or knowledge, because God uses broken things. He uses broken soil to produce crops, he breaks the clouds to make the rain, he uses broken grain to turn to bread, broken bread to give strength, and broken people to do great things in his name.
'the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit'
'For God,who said, "Let light shine out of the darkness" has shown in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying out in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.'
Finally, I pray you can see what you used to look at and your own lives, as great blessings sent to you by God the Father who loves you and can use you for his own glory.
'for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.'
'the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.'