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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to overcome life's sorrows and trials


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Life has its joys and sorrows. Today, I received an international phone call from my mother and heard that my dear father was hospitalized because of the myocardial infarction.

When we face sorrows and difficulties, what do we do? Do we sit down, crying and lamenting all day? Yes, I did cry this afternoon, but the Lord stirred up my spirit and taught me the important lesson; that is, we can be an encourager in every circumstance. When the wife of Ezekiel died, he continued His work the very next morning (Ezek 24:18). And the Lord said, “Thus Ezekiel is a sign to you” (Ezek 24:24 a).

From this verse, I learned that we believers are “a sign” to the people around us. When people see us, they must see Jesus—our heavenly bridegroom―. Our words and behaviors thus must reflect some unearthly beauties. In order to be so, our soul must be full of heaven and heavenly anticipations in the real sense. 

When we see our current circumstances from the viewpoint of eternity, everything takes on different meanings. When we really believe that we actually died, and that our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3), then the rest of the things on this earth have merely relative meanings. When our minds and hearts are above where Christ is, we are not only able to endure earthly sorrows and trials but also use even our saddest moments for the encouragement of our fellow human beings.

Driven from his church and home, Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), was wandering as a homeless with his wife and children for two years.  One evening when staying at a wayside inn, Gerhardt went out, and under the starry sky pondered deeply over his misfortunes. However, he did not stop there. With all his heart, he poured his faith and hope into poetry and so was born the world famous hymn we know as “Commit thou all thy griefs (1656)”.

1.Commit thou all that grieves thee and fills thy heart with care to Him
whose might and glory the starry skies declare.
He shows the winds their courses and points the clouds their way;
Will He not guide thy footsteps and be thy staff and stay? 
3. Hope on, then, weak believer, in trouble undismayed;
The gloomy night is waning, Thy fears shall be allayed.
Possess thy soul in patience, be firm in God’s employ,
And thou in radiant beauty shall see the Sun of joy.


If we surrender to Him, we are no longer our own. We are His “sign” in joyful times and in tearful times. We keep seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness even in our lowest season. Let us declare with Paul; “,,one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3: 13-14)



13 comments:

  1. Kinuko- Sorry to hear about your father. But I am so glad to hear you share about your heavenly Father.
    Everyday little heartaches and health problems may not be 'suffering for Jesus' but I've found in every situation we either have the choice to grow bitter or rely on Him, so maybe they really are trials of our faith, because when we rely on Him, we always find Him faithful.
    It's hard when we experience the realities of this physical world wasting away. "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

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  2. Dearest Sister Kinuko,
    How sad I feel to hear that your father suffered a heart attack! I've been praying that God would use this for good, so that your family may come to believe in Jesus as well. It must be hard for you right now. You know, it's okay to cry. I think tears are a gift from God, to help us release our feelings and our grief. I find that when I allow myself to fully grieve, I am able to experience emotional renewal, kind of like starting fresh after a good rain.
    You are in my thoughts, Kinuko, and so is your family!
    Jessica

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    1. Dear Jessica, thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. And thank you for saying that it is okay to cry. My father was in the ICU section but thanks God, today, I heard that he was transferred to a normal section. This is my dream that one day, I will pray with my father in Jesus name! May God answer this prayer. Jessica, thank you so much. Kinuko

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  3. Dear Sister MB. How kind you are! Thank you so much for your sharing. I heartily agreed with everything you said here. ",,so maybe they really are trials of our faith, because when we rely on Him, we always find Him faithful." Amen.

    I am so grateful that once I was a lost, pagan child but He found me. Not only that, now I am surrounded by His faithful saints like you. This is my sincere prayer that those who are still lost would be found by Him and receive riches and fulfillment of Christ.May His Kingdom come in each soul, even today!

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  4. When we have to face severe fact,our God give us strength we need.And if we stay in God,nothing happens without His permission,I believe.'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,and thou shalt be saved,and thy house.' May this words fulfill on loving family members of all believers. Kinuko,I know that you are always in His hands. Sanae

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  5. Dear Sanae san, there is such a calm but strong power in each word of yours. That's because it comes straightly from your heart, and your life experiences with the Lord.

    You know what, right after I composed the poem in Japanese, I actually became sick! And He answered one of my prayers..that was,,,Lord! teach me the littleness of humans and the greatness of You.

    Sitting on the bed, I am amazed by His greatness. How could I live without knowing Thou for 20 years? Did you read Kegan's recent post for Japanese sisters? That was awesome. I pray for your family's salvation, for my own and for each member of our dear readers. May His saving grace reach to the end of the earth. With love and respect, Kinuko

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  6. Yes, I read Kegan's newest post. I appriciate God that we can see her love for Japan.How He loves our country,but many of our people still can not notice who really can support them. It is not their own,but God,our creator.

    20years living without faith was continuous of conflict for me.When I got depression, some people said that I was ruined. But maybe I was so happy,because I could not live without Him. What happiness means diffrent in world and in heaven,I do believe. I also pray for you and your family. Sanae

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    1. Dear Sanae,
      Yes, I agree with you that the heavenly joy must be different from the earthly joy. When I read the various testimonies and writings in the past, I realized that some of them have really experienced a foretaste of heaven even while they were on this earth. So I believe that it is not impossible to live heavenly.I am so grateful that through the resurrection of Christ, we shall not perish as well. There is hope beyond this temporal journey. Let us continue to seek Him and His eternal Kingdom diligently. with love, Kinuko

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  7. Kinuko, you are in my prayers, so as your family. Your father needs to talk to someone who is the believer preferably of his own age. If you don't know any missionaries in the area or in Japan, talk to Sanae, her pastor might know someone in the area where your family lives. If you are unable to find anyone, I see what I can do.
    With sisterly Christian love,
    Irina

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    1. Dear Irina, thank you so much for your prayers. Yes, if my father could talk with a Christian of his age, it would be great. Please pray that He would put seeking heart in my father's soul. How delightful that there are many sisters who are interceding for my family's salvation! Thank you so much, Irina. Sincerely, Kinuko

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  8. Dear Kinuko,
    I can relate to what you're going through as my husband has had triple bypass surgery. It can be such a helpless feeling, and especially for you, as you are not able to be there with your father and mother. The comfort is that God already knew that this was going to happen, and perhaps God has placed a Christian doctor or nurse to be a witness to your parents right there in the hospital.
    My husband, who was 46 when he had his surgery, (1 1/2 years ago) said that the whole experience was like going downstream in a canoe without a paddle. God had complete control of his canoe. That gave him peace that whatever the outcome, God was already there. So, I add my prayers to those of the other ladies that you will have peace that only God can give and that your parents may come to know Jesus.
    Many blessings to you.
    Ruthie

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    1. Dear Ruthie, thank you so much for your loving, compassionate message. Thank you for sharing your own life experience. It was very powerful. I was impressed by your words that in the midst of such a big trial, "God had complete control of his canoe. That gave him peace that whatever the outcome, God was already there."

      I will keep your words in my mind and heart. Thank you, Ruthie. with Christian love, Kinuko

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