How Do We Handle Suffering?

Continuation of #mystory, “How Do We Get Back on Track?”

The work continued in my home and in my heart. Everyday I woke up with the grit of sawdust in my nostrils as the workers scurried around like busy-bees. Being the good Christians that we are (I’m joking), we decided to use a construction company that gives men a second-chance. Men that were rehabilitating from alcohol and prison terms.

It was a risk.

And not everything went well.

We had minor things stolen. But honestly, nothing we could not live without. I found myself slightly significantly irritable. Upset that things were not going as planned. Desiring from the deep recesses of my soul to hurry up the process of refining. I was ready to be done and move on. I wanted a new task. A different set of problems. This one was growing quite old.

But, there was more work to do.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6

The day came when our contractor said they had spent all of our money and yet, the work was only 85% done. Almost finished…but still undone. The man was a fellow-believer and we had completely trusted him to finish the job. And now, we felt we had been jipped. Left empty-handed, our personal resources run dry.

It’s not like we could call it quits. Our stairwell had no banister. Our floors were not complete. There were exposed electrical wires. And yet…Where Do We Go From Here? We were desolate and broke.

Unfinished. As much as I hate to admit it.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

During this lifetime, we all face trouble & tribulations and when we do…we go running for answers. But sometimes, there is no earthly answer. Why? Because Jesus is the only answer! God allows pain to draw us…and others…closer to HIm.

“The supreme value and glory and admirableness of Christ is shown most clearly when Christians treasure Christ more than they treasure what they’re losing—health, wealth, family, or life.” John PiperJob: When the Righteous Suffer, Part 1

  • Let God finish the work in you.
  • Allow Him to spread the Gospel through your suffering.
  • Trust God will use your pain and suffering for His glory. He will bring about good.
  • God is never thrown off guard. He is sovereign. He will rebuild and restore.
  • Nothing is wasted. Look for the lesson God is teaching you.
  • Stay the course!

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job 23:10

Do you believe God is able to change your situation around for good? Why or why not?