This will be another short post today, in part because I am working (slowly) on another post that integrates a lot of scripture. The first passage is a Psalm that speaks to me right now:
O Lord, rebuke me not in thy anger,
nor chasten me in thy wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is sorely troubled.
But thou, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee;
in Sheol who can give thee praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief,
it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil;
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and sorely troubled;
they shall turn back, and be put to shame in a moment.
The second passage is from the Letter to the Romans:
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.
I must confess that I have done a poor job rejoicing in my suffering. Even though I know that my suffering has ultimately been good for my soul, I have resented it more often than not. Finding joy has always been difficult for me, and I know this to be one of my greater failings as a Christian. Perhaps it is my Celtic blood manifesting itself, but I have always had a grim or dour attitude that is focused on doing my duty to God. This is an area that I know I need to work on, but it will be an uphill battle for me. Between my own perseverance and the Grace of God, I hope to make some headway in this aspect of my faith (it is in fact one of my resolutions for the year).