Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts from the Retreat #3

How many women's retreats talk about suffering as a Christian? Not many I've been to! And yet, we all have various kinds of suffering in our lives. I was so blessed by this lesson.

Romans 8:28 says that "All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord."

The thing is, God gets to define the meaning of good.

Sometimes what's good for us doesn't feel good.

Biblical definition of hardships:
A. Trials
B. Discipline
C. Persecution
D. Sin

Instead of Avoidance we need to have Endurance
Many women try to take care of the pain through medication, internet, friends, books, exercise, alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, etc.

The Fruit of Suffering
A. Perseverance
B. Eternal rewards
C. Testimonials (can cause others to come to Christ)
D. Share in Christ's sufferings
E. Conformed to His image
F. Increases Faith
G. Teaches us us to say "nevertheless" (nevertheless I will praise you and trust you)
H. Sacrificial praise (even when our feelings don't agree, even when things are hard)

Can you pray, "Lord, strengthen my back that I might bear the burden" instead of "Take this trial away!!!!"
Ask God to give you eyes to see the fruit that comes from suffering.
(Notes from our retreat handouts)

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