Should We Choose Suffering?

Good morning. We have finally arrived at Friday. August 10, 2012. Alright!! Today is “National Lazy Day.” I can most certainly get into that. I think it should have been combined with “Book Lover’s Day,” which was yesterday. That way, I could be lazy and read a book.

On this date in 1846, the Smithsonian Institute was created. On this date in 1776, London learned that the Americans had written a “declaration of independence.” News didn’t travel quite as fast back then, huh? On this date in 1937, the first electric guitar patent was awarded to the “Electro String Corporation.” It was for an instrument known as the “Rickenbacker Frying Pan.”

And on this date in 1981, Pete Rose set the National League hit record with his 3631st hit. Oddly enough, the man whose record he broke, Stan Musial, got his last two hits in 1963, against the Cincinnati Reds and their rookie second baseman, Pete Rose.

Father, I’m running behind, this morning, so I pray that you would show me something in the brief time I have left. I pray for focus later, as I get my prayers in.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 71. No composer is listed for this one.

In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

The psalm continues along that same line, being a wonderful psalm of hope and praise to God. This is a composer who understands that God has been with him since before his life began.

My Utmost For His Highest

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:19

“To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s will even if it means suffering is a very different thing.” I agree with that statement 100%. I have known people in my life who would choose one option over another because it would make them suffer; because they liked it less than the other option, thinking that, surely, God would not want them to be that happy. I cannot understand that mindset. As Chambers says, “No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.” We also had better not interfere with the suffering of another saint.

“The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God.” It is not the ones who sympathize with us who strengthen us. If we accept sympathy, it makes us think that God is dealing unfairly with us. Remember Jesus’s response to Peter in Matthew 16:23? “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Jesus did not need Peter’s sympathy.

If we listen to the world, we will think that God wastes his saints by placing them in totally useless places. Don’t be guilty of saying that God will place you in such and such a place because you are so useful. “God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is.”

Father, I hope I am learning to submit to your will and accept where you place me. I have gone long enough thinking that you will surely do a certain thing with me because of the talent that you have given me. If you do that thing, very well. If you don’t do that thing, very well. It is up to you. I belong to you, I do not belong to myself. I am yours to do with as you see fit. Place me wherever you will be glorified the most. I will gladly submit.

I pray for strength and wisdom in this prayer ministry. As I go forward, I ask you to teach me more about how to pray for other people. Empower me by your Spirit to follow your direction, even when it comes in the most unusual places. Make me more aware of my surroundings and how they might relate to the ministry of prayer.

I pray for this day, Lord. Give me a smooth day at work, and I pray that Christi will have a good day as she works from home. I also pray that, as she visits the podiatrist again today, that some kind of hope might be received. I continue to pray that you heal her foot pain, whatever the cause may be.

I pray for some rest this weekend, even though it looks busy.

Give me clarity and focus as I pray on my drive to work today.

May we all have a healthy, God-driven attitude toward his will for our lives, regardless of the suffering involved.

Grace and peace, friends.