Are You Suffering Profitably?
“How in the world can you suffer profitably, Sue? I don’t want to suffer at all. I avoid it like the plague. If I can get around it, or escape it, I will.”
Many years ago, I read a fabulous book by Paul Billheimer entitled Don’t Waste Your Sorrows. In a nutshell, this excellent book taught that “suffering in the life of the believer is an indispensable part of God’s present program of preparation and training for ultimate participation in rulership as members of the Body of Christ”.
So, I ask, whatever you might be going through at this moment (your spouse won’t cooperate, your health is failing, your job is from hell, your best friend just abandoned you, your finances are going down the toilet because of this pandemic), are you wasting your sorrows, or are you worshiping your Savior; praising the Lord for all things and profiting from this pain?
How do you profit from pain? By seeing the One who is invisible. Hebrews 11:27 says this: “By faith, Moses persevered because he saw Him who is invisible”.
You see what God is making you into as a result of this painful circumstance. You see the Prize behind the problem. You embrace this pain as an instrument of correction that the Lord has to make a change in your perspective. I can guarantee that he is changing your paradigm. There is a flaw somewhere in your thinking that He wants to correct so that you will walk victoriously in the midst of the circumstance.
He has a jewel from His heart that He wants to impart to you in this time. Find the jewel, embrace the instruction, walk through the circumstance in praise and thanksgiving, and you will receive the impartation of that jewel.
What could this jewel be that comes from God’s heart? Perseverance, courage, tolerance, adaptability, accountability, assurance, boldness, calmness, compassion, conviction, courtesy, dependability, diligence, efficiency, faith, focus, frugality, or organization. Whatever the Lord wants to teach you through this circumstance.
Those are His jewels. They are HIM. That’s the promise of your suffering. HIM! This gift FROM Him will last a lifetime, this gift OF Him will last all though eternity.
Are you being trained by this circumstance? Hebrews 12:11 says No chastening (discipline) seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Do you want foremost to “get out of your circumstance”? Or do you want God to teach you what He wants you to “get out of your circumstance”? If your answer is the first choice, you will waste your sorrows. But, if your answer is the second, you will worship the Savior and suffer profitably, gaining the Prize.
After all, He is whom your heart is bursting toward!