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Pain and joy... By Pastor Bobby Schuller "And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'" -Job 1:21 Many of us can't be happy people because we are afraid of suffering and pain. The renowned philosopher Dostoyevsky said, "To live is to suffer." You're thinking, "To live is to suffer? Dostoyevsky is just a negative guy. He's saying that all of life is just one big suffer-fest and then we're going to die." Well, that's not at all what he's saying. He's saying that, if you really want to live, I mean really live, I mean really live a sublime, fulfilled life, you have to be willing to suffer. Suffering and living go hand in hand, and that doesn't change at all for the Christian. One of the greatest sources of suffering in my life have been in diapers, and crying throughout the night. On the other hand, some of the greatest joy and happiness and fulfillment is what I have in my children. When I see their chubby cheeks, I'm overwhelmed with love. Suffering and pain. Fulfillment and joy. You can't have one without the other. Prayer: Dear Lord, help me not to be afraid of pain and suffering so that I can experience true fulfillment and joy in you. Amen.

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1 Sarah R = "I love the saying about there being no u-hauls behind hearses. We spend so much time and energy trying to build up things on Earth - money, fame, power, materials, whatever - and yet none of that will matter when we arrive at the door of eternity. Doesn't it make more sense to be spending our time on that which will last for all eternity? According to the Bible that's only two things - the Word of God, and one another."
2 Sarah R = "When we are suffering, it is the true test of our faith. Will we hold on to God, and grow wiser and blessed in our suffering? Or will we abandon God, and grow bitter and angry in our suffering?"
3 Sarah R = "It is through suffering that we grow, learn, and depend most on God.Romans 5:3-5 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."