I was serving—just like Jesus, but I wasn't doing it with joy. Big difference. Being able to journal is part of fulfilling my purpose to serve with joy because I know that one of my roles is to encourage and challenge other women whoever they are, wherever they may be.
Many have asked why. I don't ask why because I know the answer, and here it is. We live in a sinful world. Bad things happen, but it was not supposed to be this way, and it will not always be this way. God has a plan. He has made a way for sinful people, you and me, to be with Him in a perfect world. The way is Jesus. This is the way to know God and someday be free from this world of disease and pain. Second Peter 3:9 says this, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." So God is being patient, patient so that everyone has the opportunity to repent and to make things right with Him. That is why there is evil and suffering in the world, because when He does return to bring judgment, there will be no second chances.
*Acknowledge that you have sinned and that you have a serious problem before you in light of a God who is perfect and just.
*Recognize that there is nothing you can do to save yourself.
*Trust that Jesus, who died to pay the penalty for your sin, has risen from the dead and given you His righteousness.
I am dying, but so are you. Neither of us knows if he will even see tomorrow, and perhaps the reason that I am suffering now, the reason that God is waiting to bring judgment against all the evil in this world, is because He's waiting for you, for you to acknowledge your sin and to turn to Him for forgiveness. Maybe you are the one we are waiting for. Jesus suffered. God did not spare Him. Why would He spare me if my suffering would result in good for you? If my suffering is the means that God would use to bring even one person to Himself, it is an honor for me to suffer.
Does that seem strange? I suppose it does, but really, it is the only way that all of this makes any sense at all. A God who sees my suffering but is unable, or worse, unwilling to spare me? A God who sees my suffering but allows it with no greater purpose or hope? My God is able to save me, and He will; but save me from what? From a life without Him. There is a place where there is nothing good, not even a gentle rain or a child's laugh. It is a place where everything that we despise about this world, the evil, the injustice, is the rule with no exceptions.
Hell is a physical place where God is not. Instead, He will bring me to a perfect world where He is, Heaven, where life is full of wonder, adventure, and joy, everything good, for all eternity. My God is able to save me, and He will. This suffering is temporary, and the life I will live in eternity will make all this seem light and momentary.
As one speaker explained, "God allows in His wisdom that which He could easily prevent by His power."
Can that faith save? We all have faith in something, but not all faiths save. The faith I have saves, so when I say that death is not dying, the part of me that will die is only a shell. I have lived a seemingly picture-perfect life from the outside looking in. In truth, I have been very blessed, but in my life there have been many difficult things that the Lord has allowed.
I have made poor decisions in my life in the past, and have hurt others, and have been hurt as a result of them. I have known the searing pain of loss with the death of a loved one. I have learned that the greatest evidence of God's love is seen when I stand at the foot of the cross. He took my shame upon Himself and rescued me. I have learned that being a Christian is not just hope for the future, although it is most definitely that, but that it is the joy of knowing and trusting in a God who is loving and faithful no matter what the circumstances. So, when I say that death is not dying, death will not kill my soul. It is eternal just like yours. It is just this physical body that will die, but even it will be raised again just like Jesus. It will be better than the one I have now.
Like everything, it will be better because God is going to make everything new, and I know this, why? Because I know God. I know myself. I know the Gospel, and I know my purpose. I know I have a faith that saves because my faith is in the LORD Jesus alone.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)