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God crossed our paths on 4-21-06...we took our time to officially start dating--we prayerfully started dating in the Summer of 2006, got engaged on 5-19-07, and God united us as one on our wedding day, 12-15-07. Exactly 1 year later, 12-15-08, we found out we were expecting our 1st child, Bailey Josiah, who was born on 8-3-09. God has blessed us beyond measure with such a precious son! We are so thankful for each other & for the amazing opportunity to raise one of His precious children. Little did we know, that a short 4 years later, we would be living out our vows, "through sickness & in health"...we hope & pray that this struggle with Lyme is going to be temporary, but right now are just taking it one day at a time, trusting God each step of the way. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9...."Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5b


Friday, December 23, 2011

"Suffering is only Temporary, not Eternal"

This is copied straight from Week 4 of something we have been reading at Remedy Church, on our own time, called "Advent", in preparation for the 1st Coming of Christ--His birth, which is what Christmas is All about!, & His life here on earth, His death, & His Resurrection, which we anticipate His 2nd Coming, where there will be no more suffering or sorrow to all those who truly know Him! :~)

 I just copied and pasted it because this is All SO stinkin' good---it's a Must read!, God spoke volumes to me through this as I hope & pray He does to you as well! :~)

He o' so sweetly & gently reminds me through this that suffering is not eternal, it is only temporary, which goes back to the theme of our blog, "Joy in the Morning".....sorrow may last for the night, but Joy comes in the morning!,...the night could be days, weeks, months, years of suffering & of sorrow, but morning refers to God promising us relief from the suffering & sorrow, whether here on this temporary time on earth or in Heaven when we see Jesus face to face, which I can't wait for that moment & for Eternity!, & that moment will Only come to those who truly Know Jesus, not just 'Believe' but Know Him, in an intimate relationship with Him, Glorifying Him in all you do! :~).....this is just a tiny glimpse of this reading.....please take a few moments to read this in preparing your heart for Christmas :~)

"The 1996 movie “Jerry McGuire” climaxed when Tom Cruise
burst into his wife’s home, looked into her eyes and said the
famous words, “You complete me.” He had just experienced
the height of his professional career only to find out it was not
what he had expected. He expected joy and found loneliness. He expected
fulfillment and found emptiness. He was a man in the throes of finding out
that what he had always pursued was not what he truly needed or desired.

Maguire was right about one thing: Incompleteness marks our current
life. No matter how hard we try, fulfillment is always just out of reach.
For unbelievers, the pursuit of fulfillment will feel like eternally chasing
a moving target until Jesus becomes the object of their longing. However,
even for the believer, there is a real sense that we have not found what we are
looking for.

Completion is only found in Christ, through His death for our sin and
resurrection from the grave, but it’s not a complete reality until we stand
in our resurrected bodies in the presence of our Savior. This won’t happen
until Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 come to pass: “They will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The return of
Jesus and final restoration are the human hope, nothing less. Paul knew this
well when he sat down to write Romans 8.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth
comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation
waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the
creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who
subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage
to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the
pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly
for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we
were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he
sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
ROMANS 8:18-25

The central theme of this passage is what all of us long for: glory. The
climactic theme of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is that we are born
and reborn to share fully in the glory of God. As history marches on, we inch
ever closer to the day when the heavenly city will have “no need for the sun
or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp
is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23). There will be a day when we physically and
fully partake in the glory of God, but until that day gets here, we groan.

According to Romans 8, the children of God groan amidst suffering. This
suffering is not only referring to imprisonment or martyrdom but also the
daily sufferings we walk through, from disease to financial reversals, difficult
marriages to loneliness. The pains of our fallen world are violently depicted
as a mother giving birth to child. At this point, we might expect Paul to
say the Spirit in our lives eases the pain, but instead he does something
completely unexpected. In a passage on suffering and glory, Paul links our
groaning to having the “firstfruits of the Spirit.”

He says there is an aspect of our groaning that is strengthened because the
Spirit has revealed to us Who Jesus is and that He will return to decisively
defeat sin and death. Our living under the weight of sin today is felt to a
greater degree because we know it will not always be this way; thus, our
groaning is heightened by our longing. This is the “already but not yet” our
pastors talk about. The penalty of sin has already been paid for, but the
impact of sin has not yet ended. We are a church family who knows this all
too well. Tumors, miscarriages and deaths have made our local community
aware of the suffering that comes with a world still groaning for the return of
Christ, but by the grace of God, that’s not all Paul said.

Paul’s hope is that, when these sufferings are held up to the infinite light of
the glory of God, they are “not worth comparing.” Paul was not speaking
out of ignorance. As we are a body aware of suffering, Paul was a man aware
of suffering. From beatings, to prison, to shipwrecks, to eventual death, he
knew suffering firsthand. So what could cause a man who walked through
that amount of pain to speak with such confidence? Paul answers that with
one word: “present.”

Suffering is not eternal, but the glory upon which we wait is. Jesus is going
to return, and when He does, we will share in the fullness of His glory.
When we do, the text says we will experience two things: adoption as sons,
which is the redemption of our bodies, and a new earth free from the
weight of sin. Since the text says creation is waiting to “obtain the freedom
of the glory of the children of God,” these are not separate statements but
one united reality that will take place when the glorious trumpets sound
and the Servant returns as King.

As we wait for this day, incompleteness defines our lives because we live
as adopted children who have not yet been picked up by our parents. We
know our parents’ names, know they have paid for our adoption, know
the adoption has been approved but stand on the curb with bags packed
waiting on them to come and tell us, “You’re home.” This is true for all
believers from all centuries. Those living today and those who have entered
the presence of the Lord await the completion of our adoption in the
redemption of our bodies.

This is the Christian hope into which we were saved. We know that Jesus
has already paid for our adoption, but we wait for the Father to send Him
for us to renew our home and dwell among us eternally as we experience
our resurrected bodies and the fullness of His glory. This is a salvation
about so much more than just “going to heaven when we die.” This is
restoration, redemption and renewal. This is going from enemies of God to
sons and daughters of God, co-heirs with Christ. This is living fully in the
image of God the way He intended. Oh what a day that will be. Come Lord
Jesus, come.

Until Christ’s return, Paul gives us an example of how to groan in view of
eternity. He exemplifies how to view the hardships of a fallen world through
the lens of the eternal glory we await. To live in light of eternity does not
mean demotions and cancer are not painful. It means they are not crushing.
Cancer is painful because death is the last enemy to be conquered, but
it’s not crushing because it’s only a matter of time before our resurrection
conquers all disease. It means that loneliness is not something only our
single brothers and sisters experience. We all experience loneliness because
marriage is not the solution to the human condition. It’s a gift and an image
that represents the substance for which we all long.

The substance that brings fulfillment and ends loneliness is standing face to
face with our beloved, Jesus Christ. To stand face to face, two things must
take place: He must return, and our flesh must be the redeemed, resurrected
body to come. When fully grasping our hope, we can endure any suffering
because we know it is temporary, and the glory to come is eternal. Until
that day, we strive for a steadfast hope, we wait with patience, and we stand
confident that our Savior will appear to bring completion to the adoption we
long for."

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