If I see God in Everything, even Suffering (“Streams in the Desert” Giveaway)

16. July 2017 faith, Giveaway, suffering 21
If I see God in Everything, even Suffering (“Streams in the Desert” Giveaway)

I fought with God.

“I don’t want to write about that!” I told Him.

Nobody wants to talk about pain and suffering being the will of God in our lives. In fact there are some preachers that preach against that. Jesus told us He came to give us abundant life.

But He also told His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. And we know that the cross was painful.

The more I study, the more I am convinced that we must embrace both hardships and abundance, and trust they are for a greater purpose in our lives as the Lord prepares us for what’s next.

Read these words from a woman who knew sorrow and Jesus well. Hannah Whitall Smith wrote,

If  I see God in everything, He will calm and color everything I see! Perhaps the circumstances causing my sorrows will not be removed and my situation will remain the same, but if Christ is brought into my grief and gloom as my Lord and Master, He will ‘surround me with songs of deliverance’ (Ps. 32:7). To see Him and to be sure that His wisdom and power never fail and His love never changes, to know that even His most distressing dealings with me are for my deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’ (Job 1:21). ~Hannah Whitall Smith

God chose Job to endure the enemy’s testing because Job was one of God’s favorites. I’m encouraged by this. We’re often tempted to believe God is punishing us when bad things happen–that’s what Job’s friends thought, but the story of Job proves differently. God trusted Job’s faith. He trusted Job would worship Him even when all earthly blessing was lost and his own health deteriorated.

Ultimately, in the process of the pain and suffering, Job saw God. Click To Tweet

“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. . .” (42:5)

I pray we may have such eyes of faith. The rewards are coming.

I’m learning that suffering and sorrow are invitations to something deeper, sweeter, life-giving. There’s always that period of mourning or shock, and then there is the call. I write about it in A Mary Like Me

“Hard days come in all shapes and sizes. A difficult job. A loss of a loved one. Illness. A move. Loneliness. Heartbreak. Singleness. Infertility. Anxiety. Financial struggle. Divorce. The list goes on and on. Sometimes our own actions place us in those difficult days; they are the aftermath of our own free will. Sometimes they are totally out of our control. But God never intends for these hard days to become our identity or steal our dreams. He can use them to call us to new dreams as well as resurrect old ones” (p. 200).

I feel a prayer coming on. Hold my hand.

“Dear Father, thank you for being a God who loves us and has good plans for us. Lord, for my friends suffering today, please let them feel your presence. Strengthen them and open their eyes to see You in their circumstances. I cancel confusion, control, and self-pity in Jesus’ name. May our pain and sorrow bring glory and honor to you. Give us abundance even when there is nothing. You can do that. Amen.”

Reading Plan #BiteofBread

 

 

Monday: 2 Cor. 1:3-4
Tuesday: 1 Peter 5:10
Wednesday: Romans 8:18
Thursday: Romans 5:3-4
Friday: Romans 8:35
Saturday: Galatians 6:2
Sunday: Isaiah 53:3

 

Sneak Peek

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

1 Peter 5:10:

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Romans 8:18

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 5:3-4

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Isaiah 53:3

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

Printable with questions and prompts

Want to dig deeper to live fully? Want to do more that just read the verses? If so, here’s a printable you can download with the scriptures and prompts to deepen your time with the Lord. Absolutely no cost! Not even an e-mail address!

Click here. 

 

Giveaway!  

I’m giving away Streams in the Desert. (It’s one of my favorite devotional classics.)

Just leave a comment to enter the drawing. If you are new to my blog, sign up to receive posts by e-mail to get two entries! (Three if you are a new sign up and comment too.) I’ll announce the winner next Monday (July 24, 2017) on my post and my Daily Broadcast. 

 

Jesus loves you,

signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015-2017 Andy Lee

Thanks for Sharing!
Share on Facebook98Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn16Pin on Pinterest5Email this to someone

21 thoughts on “If I see God in Everything, even Suffering (“Streams in the Desert” Giveaway)”

  • 1
    Laurie Epps on July 22, 2017 Reply

    Hi Andy, what a blessing this series has been to me. These days I feel like I’m running on empty. I hope the good Lord has a use for it!

    Blessings,
    Laurie Epps

    • 2
      Andy on July 23, 2017 Reply

      The Lord doesn’t waste anything, Laurie! So glad this series has been a blessing. Praying your cup gets filled. Thanks for stopping by! Thanks for subscribing too! You have three entries into the giveaway!

  • 3
    Diane Searle on July 18, 2017 Reply

    Oh, hi sweet girl! 🙂 How opportune for me is this week’s Bite of Bread. I have missed your sunshine and encouragement as you teach us with so much love Mon-Fri. mornings on Facebook. I think I could write the book on “suffering.” However, I choose to scrap that option and write a book (not really!) on God’s tender mercies and loving kindness. Since I lost my home 15 months ago, I have “lived” in 8 different places. There have been times when I didn’t think I could do this another single day! My poor little Chihuahua, Millie, is worn slap out from moving, not to mention trying to get accustomed to new people every time she thinks we are settled. I thank God for my little 4-legged friend! What a COMFORT she has been to me during this time of suffering. I wanted to share with you that soon I will be “moving” again and this time I am moving to the beautiful city of Greensboro, North Carolina. This move comes with a silver lining, as God has entrusted me with a wonderful job there, a job I really wanted. I am so excited! As hard as it’s been this past year, I have learned that if I truly stay faithful and obedient to Him, there is nothing that He won’t do for me. He is the God of more than enough and the God of restoration! I am thankful for this time in my life and for what He has taught me. I never dreamed that suffering could bring such huge blessings! Thank you for your unrelenting desire to serve your Heavenly Father and loving on others through your beautiful ministry. I am happy I can call you my friend! I love you, Andy. 🙂

    • 4
      Andy on July 19, 2017 Reply

      That is wonderful Diane! Yay God! Yay you! I’m so excited you got a good job!! We will miss you. I’ll be praying! Thank you for sharing! You’re entered.

  • 5
    Robyn Olsen-Nicotra on July 18, 2017 Reply

    I prayed and spoke to the Lord the other day about restoration…..my whole journey in Wilmington for the last 2 years has been about God restoring my life…He continues and the scripture from this morning,
    1 Peter 5:10-1, was Him responding to my prayer…..I am grateful to you Jesus, I love you….Thank you Andy for what you do…

    • 6
      Andy on July 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Robyn! Thanks for sharing! I have no doubt that God has you here for good purposes above and beyond what you can imagine. I’ll be praying. You’re entered!

  • 7
    Lacey on July 18, 2017 Reply

    Hi Andy!

    I was looking for something prayer related on Google over the weekend and you popped up so I started listening to your Bite of Bread series this week. I am going through a season of waiting right now and some days it feels like suffering. Thanks for directing me to Ephesians this morning. I hadn’t thought to read that book. Your words of encouragement and truth have helped me this morning. I took a sunrise drive through the city this morning (a quick drive before work) and what started as quiet time/prayer with God, turned into discouragement, panic, guilt, and lies – Thanks Satan! God has quickly restored my peace and joy, thankfully! Love your blog and your FB live feed!

    • 8
      Andy on July 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Lacey! I’m so excited you found me! I love how Holy Spirit works through Google. 😊 Thanks for dropping by and sharing. Praying for you in the waiting. Patience is defined as long suffering. But I’ll pray for a sweetness in the wait. Blessings! Your entered.

  • 9
    Kim M. Andrist on July 18, 2017 Reply

    Thank you Andy, the Lord knows how much I need Him and your daily Blog has been helping me think about how I handle, topic’s you bring up. This is quite a challenge for me with my illness and brain injury, as I am sure you know. Life is very had right now..with all I try to accomplish , I seem to just fail…Then God at the end of the day (I call it a Hug from Him) blesses me with little things…That I see as HUGE blessings, an example: fail fail fail…yesterday…then I went outside to find the Northern Lights that the News said might be seen in Boston Area, getting on the highway several exits North (I saw a deer, must have been born this Spring) I never get out much…so as a X healthy woman, backpacker, outdoors woman 🙂 I was thrilled. My HUG from God, as you are, and your Blog in the morning is for me. Sorry if my spelling is not correct…and I am longwinded too, with words. Can’t get to the point right away. Thank you for helping me all these years…My Streams is packed somewhere?? Blessing on your ministry Andy. I got a Hug from God…I saw a deer :). Love ya girl….I miss my old healthy life…I will learn a lot from your blog. Thank you. Kim Michele

    • 10
      Andy on July 18, 2017 Reply

      Hi my friend! I’m so glad you are able to watch my Facebook daily broadcast, and it encourages you. And I’m so glad you found my blog again! And I love the story about the God hug. He is so faithful. He loves you!! I’m entering you in the contest. Much love!! Blessings, Andy

  • 11
    Debbie Johnson on July 17, 2017 Reply

    Powerful lesson….heartfelt — thank you for teaching me. Shared.

    • 12
      Andy on July 17, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Debbie! You’re entered. 🙂

  • 13
    Judi jorge on July 17, 2017 Reply

    This one was for me, Andy! You know I’ve had my share of “stuff”. Because of my family situation, I have always struggled with the ingrained belief that circumstances have been a punishment because I’m not good enough, don’t do enough, don’t try enough, that I’m just …wrong. I have gone through stretches of wailing to God about how He made it too hard, that I couldn’t do what I didn’t understand, that I tried to change myself into what He wanted but fell miserably short.
    As days, weeks, years unfold, God has shown me more and more how my view of Him is scrambled up with my earthly parent experience, and has used my questions/cries/anger to guide me into places where I would start understanding who I was, so I can start to really understand who He is.
    I have also carried a lot of guilt and shame about my arguing, my questioning, my non-stop thinking, my kinda weird personality – which have always been a “reason” my earthly parent gave for treating me poorly. God has lately been letting me know that He actually made me this way for a reason, that He doesn’t want me to try to be like anyone else, and that these are blessings to be celebrated, not curses.
    Sure. Trust me. I wish there had been an easier way. In fact God and I have an inside joke ~ when I talk to Him about something, like asking for help with trusting Him, I generally insert an implied asterisk ~” *And could we find an easier way to get me there, Lord??” But I am starting to understand why muddling through a whole lot of bad is really, really good. God has pointed out to me that, although I go through my fires kicking, screaming, and mad as a wet hen at Him, I always go back to Him.
    The funny thing is, I never realized it, because it doesn’t look like the pretty images of perfect Christians I have in my head. But God told me what it is I have, which kind of floored me.
    He said I had faith. It ain’t always pretty. but things you make the hard way usually aren’t. <3

    • 14
      Andy on July 17, 2017 Reply

      “The funny thing is, I never realized it, because it doesn’t look like the pretty images of perfect Christians I have in my head. But God told me what it is I have, which kind of floored me. He said I had faith. It ain’t always pretty. but things you make the hard way usually aren’t.” Love this Jude! Why do we think faith should look pretty? You go girl! Faith muscles on steroids! You’re entered.

  • 15
    Mary Dougherty on July 17, 2017 Reply

    Andy, Hannah Whitehall Smith was a book I read years ago. I have been told in college that they saw me as the suffering servant. I have struggled with the abundance as it has seemed the majority of my life, my walk was the cross and the desert. I was away in Pennsylvania last Thursday and it’s been a tough season the past year. Please pray. Mary

    • 16
      Andy on July 17, 2017 Reply

      Hi Mary, first, I’ve got your Dunks coffee card! Going in the mail today. Second, I’d like to remove that label someone put on you so many years ago. The truth is, we all have sorrow and suffering, it’s what we do with it that matters. You also have amazing blessings. I know three of them! I’m sorry for the pain and grief in this past season with the loss of your dad. I will be praying for you. You are entered.

  • 17
    Kathy Quigley on July 17, 2017 Reply

    This was very comforting , although at first I didn’t think it was going to be!

    • 18
      Andy on July 17, 2017 Reply

      He’s the Father of all Comfort! Keep on keepin’ on! You’re entered. 🙂

  • 19
    April on July 17, 2017 Reply

    I am glad we are going to be in this subject this week. I will be blessed by studying the verses you were given! You’re right though…nobody really wants to speak of the hardships we endure but we must embrace both the bad and good. From pg.200 in your book, I had highlighted that and really highlighted “A Move” because we just made the move to Florida. I’m hoping in time I learn the sweetness and calling of this move. Although extremely blessed with my husbands new job and beautiful house and great new city, I’m dealing with loneliness and anxieties. I think this well will be good!

    • 20
      Andy on July 17, 2017 Reply

      Oh April, I’v been there! It sounds like the Mary study came at a perfect time for you! I’ll be praying. You’re entered!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *