Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:18-22 NLT
Because Adam and Eve sinned, the world suffers the effects of God’s curse. Genesis 3:16-19
Paul endured and persevered through years of persecution. He wrote, “everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. (From Phil. 1:18-21 MSG)
Consequences of giving into temptation:
- Feeling guilty
- Punishment, like being fined or arrested
- Destroyed relationships
I’ve rewritten my answer to this question several times today. Thinking about it has left me depressed.
- Mom in and out of the hospital for seven years before she died when I was 18
- Five church splits
- Lots of difficult moves while I was growing up
- My on-fire-for-God husband quickly lost his zeal after we married. His focus turned to making money, working six and seven days a week. When he was home, he was often exhausted, angry and verbally abusive.
He persecuted me for seeking God instead of his god—money. I prayed and prayed. I fasted until I lost way too much weight. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown, I think. After twenty-three years, he left.
- One of my sons attempted suicide when he was away at college. (Thank God for His mercy.)
I can’t say I coped all that well. I pushed myself to stay busy at church, at work, and at home.
I burned out more than once over the years.
Somewhere I got the impression a Christian’s life was supposed to be easier. That probably caused me more harm than anything.
I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough.
Somehow I felt the challenges were my fault.
I guess I’m finally learning life isn’t supposed to be easy.
Am I developing character in the process? Am I maturing spiritually?
I just remembered something Bill Johnson said, “I’ve never gone in looking to see how I’m doing and come out encouraged.”
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Psalm 3:3 NLT
I hope I don’t blame God.
I hope I run to Him.
I hope I pursue Him despite dark circumstances. (Where else is there?)
I hope I will worship Him until the prison doors shake open.
No matter what, when the books are opened, my name will be there. Oh what a glorious day that will be!