The Meaning of Suffering

A quote from Victor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist, writing from a Nazi concentration camp, explains:

A LIFE WHOSE MEANING DEPENDS UPON SUCH A HAPPENSTANCE—
AS WHETHER ONE ESCAPES OR NOT—
ULTIMATELY WOULD NOT BE WORTH LIVING AT ALL.

I once led a life of wanting to escape at all cost: to escape from feeling abandoned…to hide when I felt condemned…to run away when I felt ashamed.  At some point, I was doing so much escaping that there was not much time left for living.

We are always looking for a way out of heartache and have come up with many solutions.  Some of them are destruction, distraction, and divorce.  Did you know that God has His own escape route out of shame, abandonment, and condemnation…if you would only stop trying to escape?  He calls it DISCIPLINE—the training that causes wholeness and holiness.

ENDURE HARDSHIP AS DISCIPLINE; GOD IS TREATING YOU AS SONS
(Hebrews 12:7).

Beautiful Child, stop living your life as a means to escape.  Instead, choose MY DISCIPLINE.  You will find that a life of escaping becomes very tiresome.  The same issues from which you need to escape today, you will need to escape again tomorrow, and then again the day after that, if you choose to ignore My Discipline.

THEREFORE, SINCE WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN, LET US BE THANKFUL, AND SO WORSHIP GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND AWE
(Hebrews 12:28).

Understand that you see hardship as something that needs to be avoided.  I, on the other hand, see hardship as something that needs to be endured, so I may remove what can be shaken from your life and replace it with My Kingdom that is unshakable— something permanent, from which you do not have to escape.

I KNOW THAT EVERYTHING GOD DOES WILL ENDURE FOREVER; NOTHING CAN BE ADDED TO IT AND NOTHING TAKEN FROM IT. GOD DOES IT SO THAT MEN WILL REVERE HIM
(Ecclesiastes 3:14).

What do you do during bouts of suffering? Do you only look for the escape route, or do you endure suffering as discipline—the training from God that causes wholeness and holiness?

PRAYER: Lord God, Perfect Father, have Your way with me. Teach me, during suffering, to stop trying to escape, but to trust You—that You are holding me in the palm of Your hand, and that You will not drop me. Thank you, my Lord, that, through patient suffering and endurance, I am receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken—a Kingdom that lasts forever.

Maintain an Awareness

We run…and run…and run, but we never run to God.

The Two Counsels

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