“Joy In My Suffering”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Today let us look at the JOY, the BLESSINGS, the incredible INSIGHT we can all have by bearing our cross CHEERFULLY. Is it easy? NO! Will it ever be easy? Sort of YES. I will say this, it gets easier. I am GRATEFUL for being the one chosen to bear a Cross that I feel sometimes is killing me. I don’t fear death, no I don’t have a death wish. But know that when you are under the weight of a fiercely HEAVY CROSS, death is sweet to consider, comforting to ponder. But we won’t talk about that; instead let us look at the HOPE and JOY found in our Suffering. Embrace your suffering! Thank Jesus for choosing you to be the one to suffer.
FINDING STRENGTH IN SCRIPTURE:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 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.”
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
James 1:2-4 (Trials and Temptations)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~The trials we face along with what seems like endless difficult times; through prayer and trust we learn and begin to see through the Holy Spirit within -that God is pruning the imperfections and getting rid of them out of our lives, so that we are better prepared for His Will in our lives. Knowing this helps us bear with all this know; because it all seems so much more worthwhile.
James 1:2-18 (Trials and Temptations)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. 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. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.”
Let us end with this incredible verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES (we must remember that)
OK. One final scripture to give you HOPE; our HOPE in Jesus.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (Praise to God for a Living Hope)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
This might be hard to understand, but I LOVE the SUFFERING. Not the pain and suffering, not the bloodshed, for only ONE (Jesus) who has bled has blessed us. When I speak of my “Love of Suffering” I am speaking of my gratefulness that God has chosen me to be the one to suffer. This suffering keeps my focus fully on Him, completely on Him, and this suffering keeps me on my knees at all times. Like I said, I am ever grateful for all this suffering.
If we are to FOLLOW JESUS, we must not be afraid to suffer. Suffering removes us from focusing on this world. Jesus' example on how He handled suffering is how we should be handling ours, by embracing our Cross.
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS