Accepting suffering

This is the seventh part of a series on prayer, adapted from Madame Jeanne Guyon’s writings from the 17th Century.

We must be content with any suffering that God may bring our way. If we love Him with a pure heart, we should be willing to follow Him to Calvary as much as we are willing to follow him anywhere. The cross was the greatest manifestation of his love for us.

We’re often prepared to trust and love God in certain areas of our lives, but when things get tough we look to our friends and family for help. We need to wholeheartedly turn to God and stick at it. It’s only when we are completely abandoned to the cross that we can be at peace. If you don’t love the cross, you don’t love God (Matthew 16:24). It is impossible to love one and not the other. A heart that loves the cross has found joy and pleasure during the most difficult times.

“To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” ( Proverbs 27: 7 )

Being hungry for the cross means being hungry for God, abandonment and the cross go together. The secret is – the moment you recognise something is wrong or upsetting, or there is suffering – that is the moment you abandon yourself at once to God and present yourself as a sacrifice to him. You will see, when the cross comes, it will have lost much of its weight, because you will meet it in the strength of God.

Some people imagine that it is not suffering to feel the cross. The feeling of suffering is one of the principal parts of suffering itself. Jesus himself was willing to suffer it in its intensity. Often the cross is borne with weakness, at other times with strength: both should be equal in the will of God.

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