“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.
Only through experiences of trial and suffering
Can the soul be strengthened,
and success achieved.”
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
To reckon, is to establish by counting or calculation, and today, as I struggle with pain and limitations as I recover from surgery, I am reminded that, in calculating the number of difficulties and painful events that have occurred in my life, I am encouraged and inspired to think of what God has in store for those who love Him, those who are called according to his purpose. Paul, in reckoning all of his pain and suffering, just lays it out there for us in II Corinthians 11:24-27; “… five times received I forty stripes save one. I was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, (that’s me today, lol ), in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”
I don’t suppose that many of us can say that we’ve suffered to this extent, and I’m in no way trying to belittle anyone else’s experience, yet Paul kept moving forward and I’m so glad that he did because during these tremendous hardships, He wrote most of the epistles of the New Testament. Most of them from prison. In light of all of this, and considering the hardships that we may be facing, we too can reckon that none of it compares to the glory that shall be revealed in us, as we, like Paul, keep moving forward and looking up…
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”
“O LORD, how long will You forget me?
How long will You look the other way?
How long must I struggle
With anguish in my soul,
With sorrow in my heart
Suffering may endure for a season
And we wonder when relief will come.
Is this for a time of testing
A really deep trial for some?
Day by day we endure our heartaches,
Often questioning why,
We don’t seem to fully understand
And we come before God with a sigh!
“Just quiet yourself in My presence,” He says,
“I have blessings for you in store,
This time with me will be precious,
Even more than ever before.”
The wonderful promises in God’s Holy Word
Bring comfort, encouragement and peace,
And as we nestle up close to Him.
Our Faith brings sweet release.
So let us joyfully praise the Lord,
If, through suffering we can learn,
Truths that will help to guide our way,
And His Word more clearly discern.
Elsie K. Young
PURSUING THE GOAL
“Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.”