Monday, April 15, 2013

Endurance in Pain and Suffering

The past few days have me once again writhing in  pain...not continuously, but off and on. Enough, though, to keep me crunched down on the couch, not wanting to be productive in any way. 

I have suffered these painful days each month for many, many years, now. I'm used to them...almost am sure they will always be a part of my life, even though I am guaranteed that this phase of my life will soon pass. Many women can relate to the suffering I speak about. I have been to numerous doctors and none have been able to fully help me.

There are some days I wonder what it is all about...
         Why me?
                   How much more will I have to endure?
                                                        What am I to learn from this? 

The most well-known book in the Bible that talks about suffering is the book of Job. If you have ever read it, you might have found it less than inspiring, as I did, especially if you read it while experiencing suffering in your own life. This man lost everything in his life and even suffered physical pain. He did come to a point where he even questioned his life on earth. His wife and friends even questioned Job and God's ways.

But God is not in need of the approval of man. (It is only the reader of the book who learns of God's conversations with Satan; Job himself remains unaware of the reason or source of his sufferings.

Job wrestles, not only with all questions thrown at him by others, but God's rebuke of him questioning his Creator. God demands  Job to be brave and to respond to his questions. God’s questions are rhetorical, intending to show how little Job knows about creation and how much power God alone has.  (38:1-42:6)
I'm reminded of these questions and the answer in this song by Nicole Mullen.

Overwhelmed by the encounter, Job acknowledges God’s unlimited power and admits the limitations of his human knowledge.

In the end of the book, Job is restored to health, gaining double the riches he possessed before and having new children. He lives a long and prosperous life after that.

When good people (those who "fear God and shun evil," 1:1) suffer, the human spirit struggles to understand. Throughout recorded history people have asked: How can this be? If God is almighty and "holds the whole world in his hands" and if he is truly good, how can he allow such an outrage?
Righteous sufferers must trust in, acknowledge, serve and submit to the omniscient and omnipotent Sovereign, realizing that some suffering is the result of unseen, spiritual conflicts between the kindgom of God and the kingdom of Satan -- between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness (cf. Eph 6:10-18).

"We never know how much real faith we have until it is put to the test in some fierce storm; and that is the reason why the Saviour is on board. If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, your strength will be born in some storm." - Anonymous

"This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself is the very place in which God is giving you opportunity to look only to Him, to spend time in prayer, and to learn long-suffering, gentleness, meekness – in short, to learn the depths of the love that Christ Himself has poured out on all of us." - Elisabeth Elliot

Endurance, faithfulness, steadfastness as you can see are synonymous with perseverance. They all mean that God will test us at times, cause us to use our faith to be strengthened, and that we will go through hard times. However there is a promise for us if we persevere. There is a reward. Not only is the reward in heaven when we get there, but God will learn that He can trust us with the hard things. He can trust us with the important things. He can trust us with the things He holds most dear to His heart.

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Psalm 119:71
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith; the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9.
 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."  Romans 8:18
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." Romans 5:3-4

Sharing today all the blessings Christ has shown me and rejoicing in Him alone!!!  
at  "Multitude on Mondays".
1,301 - Getting some much needed rain.(even though I am getting tired of all this rain!)
1,302 - A relaxing, long walk...taking pictures with my new camera!
1,303 - Being able to visit with my niece in the hospital, even though little "Ellie Joy" was not getting visitors, as she was in the neo-natal unit.(weighed only 4 lbs., 12 oz.)
1,304 - Ellie Joy's health improving slowly each day.
1,305 - Internet/bloggy many who have written words that encouraged me when I was struggling.
1,306 - Another encouraging sermon (on friendships) at church this Sunday.
1,307 - A warm day, with no rain!
1,308 - Getting closer to finishing remodel work on our upstairs.
1,309 - The Lord reminds me that even though I may be in pain, He will comfort me.
1,310 - Having something sweet for dessert) (pecan pie), after a delicious dinner (Chicken Enchiladas)
1,311 - Seeking God's presence, praying for Him to comfort those who have friends/family who were injured or died in the Boston bombing...again, reminded that He sees and knows all that is happening.
1,312 - Thankful that my family is safe and well.


  1. That Elisabeth Elliot quote is SO true. We've had a year of adversity, and I can attest that He seemed more real, more sweet, and closer than ever to us during this time. So many precious lessons learned!

    Nice to "meet" you! We're neighbors over at Michelle's link up today. Come by sometime!

    1. Amen, Laura. I did hop over to your blog...enjoyed my visit there! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hi Ann,
    Sorry to hear you are suffering. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos, quotes and Scripture, which all remind us that God uses/redeems our suffering now and in the future.

    Linked up behind you at SDG :)

    1. Thanks, Dolly. God is walking me through each day. Blessings to you!!

    2. As someone who struggles with fibromyalgia, I understand the pain. I like the verse in Psalm 172--it is good so I can learn more of God. Thank you for this encouraging post. And your amazing photographs.

  3. I remember that pain - I was finally diagonosed with endometriosis and put on a hormone that put me in menopause for 6 months - I've been pain-free for 22 years now - and it is such a relief. Your encouraging message though is so true of the challenges I face in raising these boys - and daily challenges around me:) The challenges may change but the challenges never really stop, do they - it's about chosing Him in the challenge! Thanks for your beautiful photos with messages - a delight!

    1. So nice to hear a happy ending to your painful situation! I'm praying relief will come to me, as well. So true, though! Our challenges always seem to continue one way or another in life....till we leave these earthtly bodies!!

  4. Such encouragement! This is the second post I have read about chronic illness. Your words are hope and life to others hurting! Thank you!

    1. I think many suffer in life with pain! Hoping many others find this encouraging, as well!

  5. I am sorry you've been in so much pain. I will be praying for you!

    1. Thanks, Barbie! I really have needed all the prayers I can get, lately. Just feel oppressed by so many things going on in my life lately. Bless you, my bloggy friend!

  6. I love that Elisabeth Elliot quote. She is one of my favorites! Blessings to you, my sister. :)

  7. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for linking to Wednesday's Word - praying for your peace in your circumstances - for relief from the pain. May you feel His Presence today and may it lift your spirit and send it soaring in Joy at knowing your Saviour.

    Where is Cavin Cottage? I am asking as I have a son-in-law named Cavin and it is an unusual spelling.

    May I have permission to use your squirrel picture in helping me paint squirrels?

    Janis Please email me at authorjaniscox at gmail dot com. As I get lost getting back to the right post.


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