Faith in Suffering

Published on Aug 28th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0

Paul writes in I Cor 12 that all believers are part of the body of Christ.  When one part suffers, we all suffer.  When one part rejoices, we all rejoice.  For those in the body of Christ who are walking in obedience and are heavily involved in the lives of their brothers and sisters in Christ those truths make their lives deeper and fuller.  It seems that we so much more of our God when we walking through the deep valleys or climbing the mountains.  Being able to share in those experiences with so many brothers and sisters opens up new and fuller truths of who our God is.

 

One couple in our church has been walking through some deep physical trials over the past several years.  Five times Melinda Schlomer has battled benign brain tumors.  These tumors have taken a toll on Melinda physically.  She lives daily with the truth that these tumors may return and yet God has used time to strengthen her faith and the faith of her husband, Craig.  Listen to these truths.

 

Ed and friends at JBC ,

We wanted to send out a quick thank you for all of the prayers and support we have received from everyone at JBC. The service that John performed on August 4th was very inspirational and heart moving…it really helped us both immensely. We have endured much together over the last eight years of this trial and we are still trusting in the Lord to see us through to greener pastures, as he promises for those who know him and seek him. Trials in life come at various times and in different forms for each of us. The usual choices in such instances seem to be, run from GOD, or run to him. For us, it has given us the opportunity to develop our faith in the only one that loves us unconditionally, Christ, and calls us to know and trust him in all circumstances…good, and not so good. I personally have been able to memorize Bible verses during this time, which have been a treasure for me in my walk.  We pray for continued spiritual growth and development along with healing, so that we can handle whatever life has in store for us. While many today obsess with physical fitness, while we should all take care of our bodies…it is spiritual fitness that helps us endure hardship and keeps us seeing good even in the most painful circumstances.  To him be all the Glory forever………..The Schlomer’s

 

When I think of an eight year struggle my knees buckle.  Even as Craig and Melinda share of the work of God in their lives over the past eight years, their knees also buckle a little when they wonder if God truly has led them to greener pastures.  But the buckling of our knees should cause us to rejoice!  It demonstrates to us just how week our faith is…and yet Craig and Melinda have stood strong…and even have grown in the past eight years.  How is that possible?  “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”  (Phil 1:6)  God has carried them through and strengthened their faith.  Did you ever stop to think how God knew Job would keep the faith when tested by Satan?  After all,  if Job recants his faith, God loses to Satan.  God knew because God was doing a work in Job’s life.

 

So, do we have a role?  Certainly, look again at Craig and Melinda’s testimony.  They chose to look to Jesus – the author and finisher of their faith.  They keep trusting truth and not the lies of their feeble hearts.  They look to Christ’s work on the cross as proof of his great love for them…even when life here on earth is such a struggle.  They have kept an eternal perspective.  They turned to God rather than from him.

 

None of us know what the future holds for us but we do know the one who holds the future.  So we cry out to him “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.  Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold your God will come with vengeance and with recompense of God, He will come and save you.’”  Is 35:3,4

 

P.S.  I sent Craig a copy of what I wrote so he could approve it before it was sent out.  Listen to his great reply:

 

Ed,

 That sounds good. If any good or added strength and hope for others can come from us… that is truly a blessing ! I will add one more thing. The flesh by it’s very nature is weak, rebellious and a quitter during the Storms of winter.  We all struggle with that truth every day, and for that reason I look to GOD for all strength, guidance, forgiveness, and renewal. To look elsewhere is foolish. He holds the universe in his mighty hand.

Through others we can see him, we can learn to trust him, we can follow him. He is greatest when we are our weakest…1 John 4 :4  Ye are of GOD little children and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in thee, than he that is in the world.

 

Amen, I love having these kinds of conversations with brothers and sisters in Christ.  No way we say these things unless God is doing a work in our lives.  Praise Him!

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