Rejoice Within Suffering

 

Few days ago I met one of my best friends, Audrey, who just lost her beloved father. She said that now she felt lonely because before her father passing away, every morning before she go to the office, at the dining table she always talks about many things with him.  Now there’s one empty seat at her dining room and it makes her realized that she couldn’t longer share many things to her father. But there is something made me amazed from her. She said, “Yes I am very sad because I had to lose my beloved father, I am so sad because had to lose a great role model in my life. But in the other side, I am grateful because I don’t lose my joy. In the midst of grief I still have joy. Because why? I am grateful my father passed away in the state of keeping his faith faithfully, I am grateful there’s no unresolved sin before God, I am grateful that God gave him long lasting life with good health, though I feel too fast to go, I really know and understand God’s time is not our time. And the most important thing is, I rejoice because I really know where is my father go. He now will become a member of Kingdom of Heaven with God.” 

My beloved friends, this post inspired by Audrey’s story. This’s about rejoicing. Do we’ve rejoiced today? Maybe we’ll easily answer “Yes we are!” if our living conditions are safe; running well and there’s no problem at all. But do we still easily say we’re rejoicing when we’re in difficult situation Like Audrey for example. Do we still have joy though we’re under the pressure of hard problems? Generally, people associate joy/ rejoice with a feeling in a condition where there’s no suffering and problem. It means the joy for the majority of people comes and depends on their conditions that are being experienced. Many people also think that it’s impossible keep rejoicing in the midst of suffering. After I heard Audrey’s story my mind drifted away to one of the great figure in the Bible, Paul. For me, Paul is always can be a good example of rejoicing within suffering.

After repented through encountering with Christ, Paul then devoted himself fully to serving God. After having a new life, Paul’s life doesn’t automatically become easier. In his ministry, he met with the severe situations, suffered many tortures, had physical injuries, had mental pressure, and prisoned waiting for the capital punishment. But the amazing thing was all of his suffering didn’t stop him to serve God. Was Paul angry and disappointed to God? Did he grumbling and complain to God why after repenting and serving God he instead had a lot of suffering? No! Not at all! Paul didn’t do it all. What he did while in jail?  He praising God, he even wrote many letters to his congregation and his ministry friends and the messages that wrote become an essential foundation for every believer’s life today. The other amazing thing from Paul was that none of his letters contained grunts, disappointment, and sadness. Faithfully he greatly encourages people to remain steadfast and not stop rejoicing. For example, to the Philippians he had many messages to keep rejoicing and he repeatedly said that his miserable condition will not made him stop to rejoicing.

Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me. Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you (Philippians.2:17-18, 3:1)

And in his final exhortation to the Philippians,

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

My dear friend, when I wrote this post, I stopped for a moment to ponder and imagine Paul’s figure and had questions. How Paul can be like that? How can a man who has served God for a long time still be able to encourage others to remain rejoicing while he had hard suffering in the prison and awaits the coming of capital punishment? Then I read again the series of Paul’s letters and finally I could make a conclusion that Paul directed his heart and mind wasn’t like the worldly people. He didn’t focus to get wealth, fluency, preferential treatment, prestige, or popularity that he might get it all easily before repented. I noted some of Paul’s letters content.

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

(Philippians 3:10-11)

 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 13-14)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3: 20-21)

From the verses above, we can know and learn what was become Paul’s focus in his life.  He focused to be like Christ, he always looked forward continuing to run for the purpose of obtaining a heavenly call from God in Christ Jesus. Though his worldly life was full of suffering and had capital punishment, he didn’t focus on his suffering. He more focus on the salvation that has been obtained through Jesus Christ and he had great opportunity to serve the Lord. I strongly believe this is reasons why he always rejoices within his suffering. Paul put his focus on the right position.

My beloved readers, I really don’t know how’s your condition right now. I’m so glad and be grateful if your life safe and everything is running very well. But maybe there’s among us who in the difficult time in life or currently facing very hard problems and it becomes a reason couldn’t be rejoicing. Right now, please allow me to telling this:  Actually joy isn’t come from what our condition is. Joy isn’t depends on how good or bad our life and also not depends on others. It’s really possible rejoicing within suffering. How come?  how can we keep rejoice in the hard time like Paul did? Let’s take a look to the following verses:

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:10-11

From two verses above we can conclude that there’s always joy and we will always be able to rejoice as long we live in His love and keep His command. This is the way that we can still rejoice even though our lives are full of suffering. Let’s take a look another verse,

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy (Psalms 5:11)

This verse above is another proof that when we take refuge in God we will be rejoice and everyone who love God will filled with joy.  The key point is “In the Lord” That’s all! So my dear friends, actually as true believers there’s no reason at all we couldn’t rejoice every day because we live and must be always live in God. Rejoice isn’t in and depending on our life condition or circumstances. True joy is always come from God and He’s the source of joy. Then what should we do in order to rejoice within suffering?  All we need to do is like Paul did. Put our focus on the right place. Not focus on the problems and suffering but focus on God who has given us salvation.  Like a rose and thorns. Don’t focus on the thorns but let’s focus on the rose. It would be better we think and be grateful God put rose on the thorns than we think and grumble God put thorns on the rose*). What does it mean? It’s all about our focus. If we always put our focus on the “thorn” we will grumble and will be difficult to have joy and rejoicing. But if we always put our focus on the “rose “then we will have joy and will always be able to rejoice. Don’t focus one the problems and difficulties because it will hinder us to have joy. Let’s focus on God because there is always joy in the Lord.  Moreover, we’ve to remember that joy/rejoice in the Lord is our strength. With rejoicing in the Lord then there will be strength to overcome our problems and difficulties.

Nehemiah said, “… Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

My dear friends, I really now it’s no easy to keep rejoice within suffering. But please remember, we have God who is so good. Let’s stop focusing on the problems and suffering, change it with focus on God. Remember, ponder, be thankful, and rejoice for His existence, His loving kindness, assurance of His eternal salvation, His words, and for what He has done for us. If until now we can still live this life, it’s not because of our strength and ability but God give us strength and enable us to face and overcome all problems and suffering.  Keep maintain our relationship and fellowship with God. Let the Holy Spirit always dwell in our heart and let the true joy always shine on from our lives because joy is the part of fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) Amen.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalms 32:11)

Karina – Living by faith

*) Quote from Dwight L Moody

Image source: Renfrew Christian Fellowship

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66 thoughts on “Rejoice Within Suffering

  1. Dear Karina, thank you for this truthful insight on Joy. How true it is, we must have our focus right. I really liked your example of the “Roses and Thorns”, lots of wisdom there.
    God bless you mightily dear one as you bless others with your insightful posts.
    Cristina

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Before I preached in a church service in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, the congregation – a tent full of men, women, teens, and children – stood and sang one last song. These were the people I had been ministering to during the day, the very same people who had showed me their one-room homes, their dirt floors, their pitiful conditions, and their lack of belongings. Yet, while far more poor than the Western standard for poverty, these people stood there and sang, “Every hour, every day, You are faithful, Oh Lord!” Their praise was an indictment against so many of us who have far more, yet still complain, as if to say, “God has not provided like He promised.” Shame on us for not praising Him even in our bad times, for He is worthy, regardless! And, He is faithful!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear brother in Christ, Anthony
      Thank you very much have shared your story. Yes we often so difficult to be thankful and have joy to everything we have while outside there there are so many people like your congregation who live in shortage but they could wholeheartedly and joyfully praising God. Once again thank you very much for sharing an important thing to ponder and learn. God Bless 🙂

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  3. Karina, wonderful message which means a lot to me! I share my poems because when he gifted me with that ability, the words I heard were ‘Simply given, simply received’, share freely with all! I said Lord who will read it, I cannot write well, not like great writers and poets who will read it? You receive from my spirit, so many will embrace what you share, for their spirits are hungry just like yours! I am beset by many illnesses, MS, COPD, Costochondritis, Fibromyalgia, extreme arthritis, ulnar nerve palsy…and much more. People I meet when I am at the hospitals or Dr’s offices say how do you make it through your day…I simply ask “with God.” He promised me that he would give no more than what i could bear…and I believed him at his word! And each day I awaken with a smile and share with all whom I meet that I know an awesome love who will never let you down! And he is a life-changer! My body of flesh may be fading but my spirit is so strong and getting stronger every day. I look to the heavens each day for His return…and I know he loves me because He told me so. I have had many issues with my computer, and have no visit much with everyone but know You are embraced daily in my prayers and love…and always with spiritual hugs! Your words were a wonderful nourishment for me, my sister! Thanks for their healing touch!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Amen-Amein Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua Katrina!! I agree with you, we all have problems with health and pain sometimes!!

    Please Pray for our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America and Israel-Yisrael and our Christian Earth Everyday!! “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ) Everyone, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: “Rejoice Within Suffering” 7/28/2017 Written by Karina Susanto for “Karina’s Thought” | God's group

  6. Hi, sis! Some excellent points in your post as always. It can be hard for some to keep up their faith during sorrow, but we need to remind ourselves that the evil one plays tricks with our minds in times of distress. We must remember we are with God at all times, because He is always with us!

    Hope all is well with you, Karin. Have a great night and day tomorrow…

    Steve

    Liked by 2 people

      • Good evening, Karin. All is going well enough. I am just going through the steps of getting insurance authorization to take the next steps for my cancer treatments. It really is quite an undertaking here in the U.S.

        You are welcome as always for any comment I can make, sis. We have shared a number of comments over the past two to three years or so. Your posts and guest posts are always so good! Hope you are doing well. Have a great evening and day tomorrow!

        Steve 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Never has it been based on our ability to rejoice in suffering: Christ’s Spirit in us has always been the One filling our hearts with joy, knowing fully well that as long as we’re in this world, our physical bodies are subject to such threatening moments. Nevertheless, our earthly bodies will fade away and our spirits will live on with Jesus forever, undisturbed by suffering and shame.

    Blessings to you, Karina!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear,brother in Christ Samuel
      Thank you very much for you wonderful thought on my post. I really love your statement: our earthly bodies will fade away but our spirit will live on with Jesus forever. Once again thank you very much. God bless.

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  8. Eternal life is to know Him. This knowledge lives within our hearts, forever. Troubles come and troubles go. But that Holy Spirit knowledge always remains within. Such is the confidence of a true believer. Thank you Karina for reminding us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It was a great pleasure reading this post. It’s interesting because my devotional verse was talking about how strong our faith is. One of the Bible verse was James 1:2-4. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. It isn’t always easy but we have to stay focused and remain in God’s word. I hope Audrey is doing well. Continue to pray for her and if you can, stay by her side. God bless you 🙂

    Like

  10. Pingback: GOD’S LOVE IN THE SUFFERING (guest post) | Karina's Thought

  11. There is continuous need for believers to be assured and reassured that favourable earthly circumstances are not the reasons for rejoicing in the Lord. Rather, the joy is rooted in Who God is and should be our experience all day long.

    Firm words Dear Karina.

    Just got to know your blog. I hope to keep in touch, hence, I am following your blog right away. I hope you keep in touch too☺.

    More of Lord Jesus to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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