Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. — James 1:12
The pain we’re walking through… It isn’t for nothing. ~ Lysa
Welcome to our last week of the It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Online Bible Study. This is the final stretch! This week we’re looking ahead to Heaven. Putting our gaze past (but not ignoring or stuffing or numbing) whatever we’re going through right now and remembering the prize.
I want my tombstone to read:
All about Jesus
The odd thing about suffering is that it can not only make you more tender, and honest, and humble in the presence of Jesus, but it can also forge you into something more steely, and formidable, and unrelenting spiritually. I vote for both.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18
I remember hearing my granddaddy preach on this passage. He mentioned the sticky theological wicket that it’s not only that Jesus Himself sticks kiss-close to the brokenhearted and rescues the crushed in spirit. It is also that whether what we’re suffering is from His permissive will, or His active will, or just because we live in a broken, evil world since the Fall, it is the heartbreak and the crushing that will be used to save us from our old selves and transform us and make us new.
That’s a hard truth, but sit with me in it for a moment because it’s an important one. God has purposed things for you and for me for our good and for the saving of many (Genesis 50:20). If we choose to go through the crushing with Him, and make our determinations to let our lives glorify Him, and we keep eternity in mind.
Kingdom minded means there is a purpose for my pain on this side of eternity. ~ Lysa
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
In the refining place of suffering, if Jesus is your King, under His hand of mercy you will be made more pure, more like Him. That is why we can consider it pure joy… (James 1:2-4)
You know the old saying that we look at life from the back side of the tapestry? It may sound trite, but it’s true. He takes it all (pain, goodness, injustice, victories, suffering, rejoicing, loss, beauty, grief) and weaves it together (Romans 8:28) for the good of those who love Jesus… even when we can’t see it. To be a sweet offering unto Him. And to be an encouragement to others.
God is working good even in the unseen. ~ Lysa
Kingdom minded means I realize that there’s more to this life than my earthly comfort. ~ Lysa
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. — 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Here’s the question for the week: what if in going through what I’m going through I can at some point help someone else? Pain for purpose. That’s what I’m chewing on.
So, yes, today hurts. But, being eternally focused means looking ahead to no more crying, pain, or suffering in the presence of Jesus Himself in Heaven!
Because it really is all about Jesus.
Selah and amen!
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session six on our study home page or live with other participants … Take notes in your study guide on pages 149-154.
- Go through the study questions and activity with your group or on your own on pages 155-164.
- Reflect on It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Chapter 11.
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 165-169.
- Join the conversation about the study and get to know fellow participants in the private Facebook group!
Scriptures this Week
2 Corinthians 4:14-17
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
1 Peter 5:2-4
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
2 Timothy 4:8
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You. Thank You that You stay close when we’re in pain. Thank You that You have a purpose for the suffering of this life. Thank You that You understand because You went through it. Please, change and transform us from the inside out so that we look more like You and operate from Your Heavenly perspective. Kingdom minded. Eternally focused. We love You, Lord. Amen.