When Faith Meets Suffering…
The day dawned gray, cloudy, cold and wet. She climbed out of bed unwillingly, the weather colliding with her heavy heart. “When will this nightmare end, Abba?” The dogs were doing their crazy dance letting her know she needed to hurry and let them outside. Their need beckoned her out of her head and she hurried to let them outside.
Thanks for joining us for Wednesday’s Word and this series, When Faith Meets Suffering with Trench Classes United. I pray this real-life season will speak into your soul and inspire you forward in your faith.
It was the morning after she had finally allowed truth to seep into her soul, though it had been knocking on her mind for months. And as the truth set in, clarity came, followed by a sense of peace, despite the pain.
Let’s stop there in this true story and get to this topic of longsuffering. In this story, she admits to going through something for months. We will get into what it was in the blogs to come, but this is the first hint of longsuffering, which means to patiently endure lasting offense or hardship.
As I looked to His Word for this word, I learned that the first example in scripture is found in Exodus 34:6, and it’s no coincidence that the first example is of God Himself exemplifying longsuffering. The context is Moses is meeting with the Lord, literally, and he requests to see God’s glory, to see Him, not just the back of His shadow. Now, God, being God could have done all sorts of powerful things to prove His sovereignty, His power, His omnipotence, but His response to Moses’s request was more about His characteristics of love and grace.
Verse 6 says “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth…
And then He backs it up with the next verse, sharing how He has been merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth:
7…keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Now, let’s close with a bit more of this true story.
She let the dogs back in, finished making her coffee and made her way to her place of quiet time for reflection, prayer and devotions. She knew she needed to spend some time with God to sort thru this chaos, to seek His solution and His will and not rely on her emotions. This anger, pain and sorrow felt like an outfit she woke up in every day for the last couple of months, and each piece of it was beginning to drive her crazy.
It was no coincidence that she was studying The Names of God along with a word that had been etched in her soul when it all started: longsuffering. She read the scripture in Exodus and allowed it to travel from her mind, to her soul and as it seeped in, she couldn’t help but ask herself, if God’s glory is revealed in His mercy, grace, compassion, faithfulness, forgiveness and justice – all of which are key ingredients of longsuffering, how do I measure up? How will my testimony be revealed? She closed her Bible realizing the only way she was going to get thru this was by receiving His grace so she could give His grace.
Join us next week for part 2 of When Faith Meets Suffering…