“She Suffered Well!”

It is a common technique amongst psychologists (I happen to be one) to ask their client to imagine her own funeral and to ask her what she would want her most cherished loved ones to say about her life.  Perhaps somewhat morbid, this exercise often proves to be a very impactful, soul-searching exercise that helps the client clarify her current values system.

In years past, I might have wanted my tombstone to read, “She was perfect!”  or “She had it all!”  Oh how I was missing what God wanted for me to experience through Him.

My husband and I have an understanding that if I should die, I want all of God’s best suffering verses at my funeral.  Bring em’ on!  I want people to say, “She suffered well!”  My purpose for this is not to evoke pity among those who might be attending my funeral service.  No, there is a much greater legacy that I am both trying to live and to leave here on earth.  I want to be like Jesus.

Jesus suffered well.

What does it mean to suffer well?

God promises 2 things for us Christ-followers when it comes to our suffering:

1) Suffering will happen.

2) God can use it!

We all will suffer.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Suffering can produce radical positive change in our hearts and lives.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)

Are you starting to see why I love these suffering verses so much?

If I suffer well, I will become more like Jesus.  God’s purpose for you and me is to become mature, attaining the full measure of perfection found in Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

And here’s my favorite:

“Blessed is he who endures temptation (insert your own here), for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who Love Him” (James 1:12).

Enduring temptation is difficult!  It causes us to suffer.  But through our suffering we gain godly rewards.

Life is hard.  But as Christians we can rest in God’s promise that our suffering is going to be used in glorious ways.

Carry on ladies, and suffer well!

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8 Responses

05.09.12

Erin, this is such great encouragement! Suffering is indeed so hard. Your words press us to see the joy in it… to see Christ in it… so God glorifying! I love these points… suffering will happen and God will use it! How much better is it when we’re… 1. not surprised when we happen upon suffering 2. when we taste the victory of enduring it for the cause of Christ which and 3. when we possess His great reward! Love you!

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05.09.12

Suffering is a great opportinity to set ourselves apart from unbelievers as well. How we react in the midst of suffering is a true test of what we believe (and a great witness…depending on how we act at the moment).:) In the bible, suffering and persecution advanced the Gospel and started churches. If the King of kings and Lord of lords suffered, why would we think we could avoid it? I love this girl!

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05.09.12

Kelli and Heidi-thanks for your comments. I think people can most clearly see God and the hope that is in us when we suffer and the world asks, “Where does her joy come from?” It is easy to glorify God when things are going great!

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05.09.12

Thanks Erin! Loving your posts…I think it is so important to think of our funeral and what others will say of us! It really puts this life back into instant perspective, and helps us to be more intentional about what Christ wants us to be doing… instead of just “going through the motions”
Well said.
Love you 🙂

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Erin, welcome to Mothers on Mission. Glad to see a new face around here! I love your thoughts about suffering. Sometimes when things are going well my heart almost longs for a trial because in those times I am so close to Him. He makes Himself so real and forges real change in my life. I do not bemoan suffering because it is in suffering He refines us and makes us more like Him!
Shannon Milholland recently posted..I Love You 0-0-1My Profile

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This is a timely reminder! I have to admit that I don’t embrace suffering like I should. I do want to glorify Christ in every situation and become more and more like Him. Suffering can be another time of pruning…purging and cleansing…making us abundantly fruitful! Thanks for the encouraging post!
BelovedBomber recently posted..Beautiful BloomsMy Profile

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05.09.12

Powerful topic to write on Heidi. Appreciate what you shared. Blessings.

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Your Comments
Real Christian love to suffer, nooootttt! We sometimes don’t like hearing that, but to partake in Christ we must. I have to suck it up and stop whining and count it all a joy. Going to a retreat this wkend am so wanting more of God.

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