What is suffering? Elisabeth Elliot describes suffering as
“wanting what you don’t have and having what you don’t want.”
That definition pretty well covers all the little and big “troubles” we go through during our lifetime. It could be a broken hairdryer or a disease. We will have problems. Maybe you don’t have any today, but you probably will tomorrow. And – think about it – you could even be someone else’s problem!
Our reactions or responses to these problems are the key to our inner peace.
Recently, a very positive acquaintance told us about deep waters he had gone through. He said a dear friend and author, Philip Keller, had given him the following spiritual principles to meditate on and apply to his life. He said they had made a big difference in his perspective on problems.
Acknowledge – God is my Father – He knows what is best for me, so I must acknowledge He arranges all my affairs.
Accept all that comes to me as His arrangement. In acceptance comes peace.
Approve of what He does and how He does it. Thanking Him for sincerely releases Him to do great things for you (no more controversy).
I encourage you to make a copy of the three steps, keep them in a handy place, review, and apply them to your situation whenever you have a problem. It will change your perspective.
Suffering is not for nothing.
Father, You know we get far too independent if we don’t have problems. So I thank You for problems. Enable us to acknowledge, accept, and approve that You know what is best for us. Amen.
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