The Matter of Suffering

 
The question of why does God allow suffering has been talked and written about for centuries and in the end each of us must find answers for ourselves.  I have found answers that make sense to me and I would much rather face suffering with faith in God to carry me through than without faith, even if I don’t always understand everything.  He has been faithful in meeting my human needs all of these years and I praise Him for that.

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The Message of Grace

 
"For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.”—Titus 2:11 Amplified
"For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it."—Ephesians 2:8-9 GNT
 
 
If a person were to pinpoint the essential difference between Christianity as taught in the Bible and all other world religions and philosophies it could be summarized in one simple word—GRACE.  Yes, grace most purely defined is “His unmerited favor and blessing.”  This is not taught anywhere else except in the Christian faith.  There is indeed much good ethical teaching to be found outside of Christianity and I don’t disparage that in the least but everywhere else you are left to good works in some form for the basis upon which you can put your hope.  English Bibles use the word “grace” some 200+ times.  

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Bestowing the Gift of Love

Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation.  We don't love to be loved; we love to love.--Leo Buscaglia
Learning to do good in the world without expecting something in return is a great privilege (see Luke 6:35).  We need to realize that most of the time we shall not see visible results for the love we express and the efforts we put forth to bless others.  We keep doing good regardless, leaving results with God who rewards us with an inner peace that no person could ever give.  The reward for doing good lies in our participation in God’s love and pouring it forth.  Just to follow our calling as it unfolds to us is all we need to do. 

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Don't Miss Life

 
“Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.”—Job 14:1 ESV
"Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life."--Leo Buscaglia
 
 
I have given thanks many times for a childhood revelation in which I was shown that this present life is very short in comparison with eternity.  Indeed, this life is "is few of days and full of trouble.”  There are no exceptions to this for either the poor or the rich.  In view of this we must decide how we shall live out our few days.  It makes sense to me that on an individual basis the very best that I can do is to focus on living with as much love as possible.  

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Having Done All, Stand Firm

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”—Ephesians 6:13 ESV
 
 
There are so many times that I can think of when I’ve been faced with a significant challenge of some kind and simply have had to say in my heart, “Lord, I turn this over to you.  I’ve done the very best that I can and I just trust in you to work it all out.”  We all face very perplexing times when humanly speaking we’ve exhausted all possible resources and the path ahead may look very bleak.  No clear solution is in sight.  The children of Israel faced such a time when they were leaving Egypt.  Pharaoh and his mighty armies were behind them and the Red Sea ahead.  

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