Belgian Christadelphians

Choices to make in suffering

 By Beverley Russell

< 24 Memories are important

25. Choices to make in our suffering

Sometimes, eventually after the grief, we may be able to choose cheerfulness. That might keep us with a kind of daylight in the mind, and fill it with serenity and a sense of peace. It is misery which keeps us in the pit of despair, where no light shines in. It is difficult to live in the dark. There in darkness, minds are constantly agitating away about our misfortune. So cheerfulness and happiness are necessary and worth an effort to get there. A state of happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere whole-heartedly, one-directionally without regret or reservation, even when the gift taken away from us is never restored. God helps us in the healing over the loss and disappointment and into the happiness again. He will grant us that request, if we ask.

When depression occurs it is a state of disorder, essentially a state of inability to rise up. There is a compulsion to stay bent and bowed with no direction, full of regrets and great pain about the past, unable to move forward. That is the time to wait on the Lord and to rest in the palm of His hand, until He brings the peace once more to our heart and mind.

We can maximize our chances, by being a good net worker and relax with, and enjoy new experiences. We can grow positive thoughts, and have good instincts on how to make good decisions and to discard the foreboding thoughts. We can be optimistic and persist in the face of failure, interacting with other people with a sunny disposition, and become self fulfilling. Thinking of something worse than your own troubles, is a good skill, and turning sad events into something good is helpful. Everyone needs to feel special and know that we are special in God’s eyes. Most worthies of old in Scripture did not see any reversals of their ill fortune in great encounters with God, as Job did. Rather those worthies saw God’s indication to them that they were special, and that was enough for them to move on in His name. In their flesh they did see God, and abiding in Him with the promises He made to them, they knew that they would be, in the future, fulfilled.

We are hard wired to want to live and we pray for the lives of other souls as well as ourselves. But if God has not "looked away" nor has He failed to "keep up" with us, then He knows and sees all. Our prayers are acknowledgments of His Supremacy, and His Wisdom. We are clearly unqualified to put into perspective His wisdom, but we still want it as we see it for ourselves. God understands our lack of ability to understand His wisdom and He knows that we suffer deeply when life is threatened, or taken. He also knows that we are all in degrees of understanding in regard to the beautiful representatives of God who are early taken in death, and that some of us are more accepting and others less accepting. Prayer is a wonderful relief, and to put oneself in the palm of God’s hand with importuning can always bring God to the discussion table, when He will consider His servants, as He did Job. He can remove the thorn, or bestow mighty blessings, if He will. All is possible with Him, depending on the larger perspective. And God does change His mind depending on His plan for us. So we say, “if the Lord wills”.

It is so important to keep the positive always before us, as we should do every day. However it will still be beneficial when circumstances set us in the negative, that we know how far we can go, still fully appreciating the closeness of God, even in His apparent silence. Those released from the torture chamber assure us that it is possible. It is so difficult to keep in His hand when it appears that His hand is closed against us. We might be tempted to wonder whether there is a catch in the good when it comes, so that leads us contrariwise to think that God is only in the bad. We wonder perhaps if the shadows reflect Him better. People who live longtime in torment with torture, need to have a hope of the open hand, otherwise there is so little reason to exist. Disappointment is in itself a flag that we that we have a hunger for something different, and it is that hope we hang onto. It is in that Hope that God sees Redemption for us. So the choices we make for God, or against God, will see us continue in understanding or misunderstanding. Understanding will help the choices we make in our suffering towards healing, for we know God exists, and that He will save us.


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