Reasons For Suffering

Good afternoon. (I slept unto almost 10:00 this morning.) It is Saturday, January 31, 2015. Welcome to the Weekend Edition! 65 days until Opening Day. 20 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Today’s Word of the Day is mundicidious. An obsolete or rare adjective, it means, “Likely or able to destroy the world.” So is it possible that Katy Perry’s halftime show at tomorrow’s Super Bowl could be “mundicidious?”

Today is yaD drawkcaB. .sdrawkcab yrtne siht fo tser eht epyt lliw I spahreP

No, I won’t. That would require me to already know how it ends. Plus, it’s WAY too much work!!

Yesterday was a tough day, but it went okay. It was very busy for both of us, and I wound up working until almost 6:00 PM. But, at the end of the day, I had my queue clear, as well as the cart where new items are placed. Fresh start Monday morning!

I’m still not feeling great. The “cold” is in my chest, and feels a little deeper this morning (as is my voice, also). But I don’t feel horrible, so that’s good. It’s just enough to be annoying, you know? I’ll still make it to church this evening. I’m supposed to read the Scripture reading. It will be significantly lower than usual. πŸ˜€

Christi is out doing the grocery shopping. Later today, we will have our usual Anchor prayer gathering, followed by our worship time. During February, there will be a special emphasis on church membership and why it’s important. We are The Exchange.

(Source: This Day In History)

It was on this date in 1606 that Guy Fawkes jumped to his death “minutes before his execution for treason.” Fawkes was famous for his “gunpowder treason,” as he planned an attempt to blow up Parliament on November 5.

Today’s birthdays include Franz Schubert (composer), Zane Grey (novelist), Tallulah Bankhead (actress), Thomas Merton (author and monk), Jackie Robinson (baseball player), Carol Channing (actress), John Agar (actor), Norman Mailer (writer), Jean Simmons (actress), Ernie Banks (baseball player), James Franciscus (actor), Suzanne Pleshette (actress), Philip Glass (composer), Connie Booth (actress), Terry Kath (guitar player), Nolan Ryan (pitcher), Jonathan Banks (actor), Harry Wayne Casey (K.C. and the Sunshine Band), Kelly Lynch (actress), Anthony LaPaglia (actor), Minnie Driver (actress), Portia de Rossi (actress), Justin Timberlake (singer), and Yuniesky Betancourt (baseball player).

Harry Wayne Casey was (maybe still is?) “K.C.” from K.C. and the Sunshine Band. He turns 64 today. Here is a clip of their song, “That’s the Way (Uhhuh Uhhuh) I Like It.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
Psalm 15:1

Today’s reading from Solid Joys is “Five Purposes for Suffering.”

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

“We seldom know the micro reasons for our sufferings, but the Bible does give us faith-sustaining macro reasons.”

The Bible gives us reasons for hope, should we find ourselves suddenly afflicted, or should we find ourselves needing to comfort others in their afflictions. I would exercise caution in helping others, though, because there are definitely times when trying to help actually has the opposite effect.

Piper gives us five “Rs” to help us remember.

1. Repentance All too often, we think of repentance as a one time thing that happens when we get “saved.” But it is truly a life-long journey. In this case, John Piper refers to repentance as turning from “treasuring anything on earth above God.” Luke 13:4–5, while somewhat extreme, says this: “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

2. Reliance We need to trust God “and not the life-sustaining props of the world.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9: For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

3. Righteousness Suffering is sometimes nothing more than discipline, with the end that we might share in the holiness of our Father. Hebrews 12:6, 10-11: For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. . . . For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

4. Reward There will be a reward in heaven that will more than compensate for any suffering we have endured on earth. 2 Corinthians 4:17: For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

5. Reminder God sent Jesus to the world, where he suffered for us. This means that our suffering is “not condemnation but purification.” Philippians 3:10: . . .that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

Father, I don’t like suffering or affliction. And I can, I think, truthfully say that I have never truly suffered. Not in the way that many people have. There have been, as Paul describes, “light momentary afflictions” in my life, but no true suffering. Nevertheless, it is good to know that there are legitimate reasons for when I do have affliction. Help me to always stop and look at these reasons to see what you are working in my life when afflictions arise.

I pray for this day. May your name be glorified in all that we do today, as we gather to pray, later, and as we gather to worship you. I pray for Christi’s safety as she is out and about. I pray for the relationship with her mother, which continues to be challenged by her mother’s manipulative and deceptive tactics. I pray for Stephanie, that you would give her joy, peace, and wisdom in her life.

Whenever afflictions and/or suffering occur in your life, stop and consider what the Lord is working in your life. Nothing happens without a reason. We might not always know what the immediate reason is, but we can, at least, ascertain that God is moving in our lives.

Grace and peace, friends.

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