JESUS CHRIST - MY ONLY BOAST

BLOG site of Amy R. Maxwell

I am the wife of B.J. Maxwell (married August of 1997) and mother of our three adopted children. I am blessed with the awesome privilege to care for & love my husband, invest in & love our children, and keep our home. May I steward these gifts well, for the glory and praise of Christ Jesus our precious Lord & Savior!

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus . . . sweetest name I know!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Savor Every Morsel of Sorrow and Comfort

In the past couple of weeks we have had three dear friends lose either a parent or a child in death. We have wept together and longed for Jesus.
I am thankful for the pain that God has allowed our own family to walk through, so that we are "able to comfort those who are in affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves [were] comforted by God." (II Corinthians 1:4)
The following is a wonderful quote from a mother & wife who lost her child (Hope) after caring for her for 199 days.

Ours is not a culture that is comfortable with sadness. Sadness is awkward. It is unsettling. It ebbs and flows and takes its own shape. It beckons to be shared. It comes out in tears, and we don't quite know what to do with those . . .

But, we are not alone in our sadness. In Isaiah 53:3, the Bible describes God's Son as "a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (NKJV). And so it is in our sadness that we discover a new aspect of God's character and reach a new understanding of Him that we could not have known without loss. He is acquainted with grief. He understand. He's not trying to rush us through our sadness . . .

Do you know what it is like to groan with sorrow? Part of being human is that when you lose something or someone that is valuable to you, you agonize over that loss, and there is nothing wrong with that. Your tears do not reflect a lack of faith.

Rather than running from or trying to ignore your grief, would you lean into it? Would you allow it to accomplish its healing work in your heart? Would you confront your feelings of hopelessness and heartache with truths from God's Word so that it can become a healing power in your heart and mind?
Nancy Guthrie's, Holding on to Hope

Come Lord Jesus, come.

Suffering - God's Gift of Love

We have an unspoken expectation that a GOOD God will bring only what we consider to be GOOD THINGS into our lives. We never expect Him to ALLOW and perhaps even BRING difficulty into our lives. But He does . . .
Lamentations 3:31-33
For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
What does this mean? No suffering for God's children? No. It means no MEANINGLESS suffering. If God has allowed suffering into your life, it is for a purpose. A good purpose. A holy purpose.

The world tells us to run from suffering, to avoid it at all costs, to cry out to heaven to take it away. Few of us would CHOOSE to suffer.

We don't simply ENDURE suffering but rather we LEARN from suffering.
Hebrews 5:7-9
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
When you groan because there are no words for the hurt, when you cry out to God with hot tears, when you agonize over his plan that has caused you such pain, look at Hebrews 5:7-9 and see that Jesus understands! He understands what it is like to cry out to the Father, who has the power to make another way, enact another plan . . . but chooses not to.

Why has God allowed so much suffering in your life? Ultimately, the purpose is not to disfigure you for life but to mold you into a person who thinks and acts and looks like Christ.
James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Holding on to Hope: A Pathway Through Suffering to the Heart of God
Nancy Guthrie