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  • Writer's pictureGracie Berney

The Next Chapter

"Seeking God with all your heart may not necessarily change your circumstances; but it will in fact change your view..."

Hi friend. Welcome back to the blog. Thank you all for the positive feeback and encouragement from last week's post. It was very appreciated.


This post is a continuation from last week. If you haven't read last week's post, you can find it here.


In his book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Dr. Timothy Keller mentions Luther's view and writes: "suffering plays a dual role in our life. Before we get the joy and love that help us to face and overcome suffering, suffering must first empty us of our pride and lead us to find our true joy and only security in Christ."


In last week's post, I mentioned where I was at in my walk with God and how it drove me to get place where I just cried out to Him. I shared Jer 29:13 and the place God found me. Today, I'd like to share the next chapter to my story ~ The healing continues...


Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11‬-‭13‬ ‭[ESV‬‬] states:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.“


Even though God's will-plan for your life is good; He still allows testing and trials to become a part of our testimony. I belive part of the reason for this is that we tend to grow more in the valley. We tend to open up in a way that's essential for our spiritual growth and development.


A pattern I've noticed in life and even reading through the Bible is that hard times always have a way getting our attention and getting us to focus on what really matters. For the Christian, it tends to get us to a place of vulnerability with God. A place where we can empty ourselves and He in turn can fill us up with His Spirit.


Growing up I didn't understand the problem of pain and suffering. And to be honest , I still don't claim to understand everything about it; but I vividly recall the first time I felt pain deeply. I was about 9 years old and got the news that my little cousin had tragically passed away from a burn accident. I remember crying from the awareness that he was gone from this life permanently and that I won't see him again in this life.


Several years have passed since then and unfortunately I've known a lot more pain. But one thing I've come to realize is that when we bring to God our brokenness, He replaces it with comfort and peace.


He doesn't necessarily remove the pain or the difficult circumstances; but He comes alongside us and walks with us in the midst of the pain. My husband and I have faced a lot of loses in our marriage with regards to children. I've battled a lot of health issues as well as emotional trauma from past experiences with family and friends; but one thing I can confirm is that this next chapter of my life and even my husband has been full of healing as the Lord continues to walk with us.


Dr. Keller writes in the same book mentioned above that "hope comes not in the solution to the problem, but in focusing on Christ who facilitates the change."


"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."


Seeking God with all your heart may not necessarily change your circumstances; but it will in fact change your view because your focus will be on Him.


Let's pray...

Dear God, I lift us up to you. As we grow more in our faith, we realize that there's so much more you have in store for us. We realize that pain and suffering are part of the tools you use to do some of the deepest work in our hearts and minds. May we be surrendered to this difficult yet necessary process in our faith journey. And may we all live lives that are testament to your grace and the hope you've placed in us. In Jesus name. Amen.



References

The Bible

Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller


Image credit

Wix media


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