Yes, you read the title correctly. We need to “Embrace Suffering!”, “Stand Firm”, and “Not Fear”! Pastor delivered a powerful message this morning. He has started a new series, “A life with Joy…” Today’s portion encouraged us to live a life of joy by standing firm, fighting for the Gospel and embracing suffering. Do you notice the verbs - standing (yes this is a verb, you have to consciously hold your muscles and back upright to stand), fighting and embracing?
I found the message an encouragement – we need to embrace our suffering, without fear while standing firm in our faith and belief in Jesus Christ. What suffering do you have in your life today? Is it paying the bills? A struggling marriage? No free time without children? A missing loved one? Regardless of your struggle – we are to embrace suffering and stand firm NO MATTER WHAT! Ouch…there was a time I would have exited out of this blog (or walked out of the church) when I heard this message yet today – knowing God has my back, I was encouraged and thankful.
I am the wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister and writer I am today – because I have suffered. It is what we do with our suffering that differentiates us from others. I choose to embrace my suffering (most days, I am human) and write to help others. I pray God uses my book to open doors into people’s hearts and lives. There is hope, so do not fear.
The verse that stood out the most was 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT), “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” While the Lord started Pastor’s message with encouragement for my soul – He also rebuked and encouraged me as it pertains to FEAR.
A couple years ago I trained to run a 5K with my husband on my side. I thought this would be a great way for us to spend some time together as a couple and get healthy at the same time. We had fun and ran our first 5K, for Hospice in memory of my father-in-law. It was great. My husband didn’t walk or run with me again following that. Another reason my husband trained with me was because of my fear – since my sister’s abduction I struggle with being alone.
A fear I face daily yet as much as I love a nice run, I let fear prevent me from a beautiful run in the cool morning air. As I listened to pastor read 2 Timothy 1:7 my heart was awakened. I do not have to fear! Of course I knew this yet God worked through my pastor to encourage me. It brought back words from Jaycee Dugard’s memoir, sharing how she runs alone! I need to face my fears and get over it…and RUN! With God’s power and love I can run without fear…will you pray for me? Pray as I write my first book and also to run in God’s power, love and self-discipline – I will eliminate the fear and replace it with muscles and healthy lungs!
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
p.s. Today's photo is proof there is joy in everything, especially with the syrup on my Dad's homemade pancakes!
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323