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Suffering and Affliction: I Don't Want To Grow Up!

Good morning everyone, Have you ever felt like you didn't want to grow up? That the older you get, the more complicated life becomes?

We all know people who just refuse to grow up. People who are just as immature at 45, as they were at 15!

People may have even said this about you or I. But I'm not speaking about people who live life with the vim and vigor of a child, I'm speaking about those people who just refuse to grow up, you know the ones, who throw tantrums or pout, when they don't get their own way. People who just refuse to grow in maturity and responsibility.
 
Now, most of us long for a more simplified life, where things are less complicated and stressful.
But come on guys, do we expect to see the same child like behaviors in adults as we do toddlers? Some people choose to remain in kindergarten, where the work load and responsibility is easier! Where their biggest worry is coloring all day and stay between the lines! And then, it's time for recess and a nap! When they should actually be a senior in college!

This just isn't reality!

As we begin to grow up, we face more and more difficult challenges in our lives.
And as we begin to age, we face a whole different set of challenges and difficulties.

As we begin to age and mature, we also begin to realize what things give us the greatest joys. I can assure you, it’s not our possessions. It’s being in the presence of your loved ones, your children, grandchildren. It’s a phone call from a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. 

It’s a quiet walk observing the beauty of Gods creations, the laughter of a child. Memories of loved ones who have gone before us, recalling the seeds they planted is us. And so many more precious things hold greater value than anything we own. What seeds will we have planted?
In order to endure all the challenges we face in life, we must learn to change our outlook!
Hebrews 12:5-7

Every affliction, every act of suffering is an investment that God is making in us!
If the Lord did not permit us to face trials in our lives, that would be the ultimate form of rejection.
Psalms 34:19

If we allow, God will use our afflictions to bring us into a place of abundant fruitfulness.
Psalms 66:10-12

I know what you're thinking here. And you're absolutely right!
Not all afflictions are from God's hand, BUT, He can use them all for your good.
It's how we act during our affliction and suffering that ultimately determines our results!
Don't waste your affliction!

Anyone remember the story of Joseph? The most beloved of Jacob's sons, was hated and sold by his envious brothers into slavery, went to prison
for a crime he didn't commit. God used it all to make him, the second most powerful man in Egypt!
Genesis 50:20

God needs seasoned disciples like you and I, to show His faithfulness to our generation! (just as He needed the apostle Paul)
Psalms 71:18
Don't waste your afflictions!

1) MANY OF US WASTE AFFLICTIONS BY WHINING, MURMURING & COMPLAINING IN THE PRESENT.
This is the reason every test Israel experienced in the wilderness was wasted on them.

2) WE WASTE AFFLICTIONS WHEN WE DON’T REMEMBER OUR DELIVERANCE'S IN THE PAST.
When David stood before Goliath, he rehearsed his past victories with the bear and the lion.
1 Samuel 17:34-37

3) WE WASTE AFFLICTIONS WHEN WE DON’T SEE GOD’S PURPOSES IN THE FUTURE.
God brings us through times of trial so we can witness to others about God's faithfulness, and sharing God’s faithfulness with them, through our own experiences.

We must learn to see that with every affliction, every trial, God is preparing us for Spiritual Warfare.
Philippians 1:6


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