Finding God in Suffering

Do not fear, for I am with you.
Isaiah 43:5
There's such a thing as "name-it-claim-it" theology that encourages believers to scan the scriptures looking only for the positive. If, in Jesus' Name, we deny the realities of pain or hardship, then we will never have to experience them—or so some Christians believe.

But Jesus told us that we should not expect to avoid those things that he experienced in his own life. And the lives of the apostles bore this out. Rather than a promise that we can avoid life's difficulties, the scriptures offer us a much more profound promise: God's presence in good times and bad, and the knowledge that when we suffer we are most like the God whom we most clearly see in the face of the Crucified.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
I pray, O God, not to avoid suffering, but that in suffering I might know your presence. May all that I know of joy or pain also draw me closer to my brother or sister, that together we may seek your will in all things.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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