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Friday, February 24, 2006

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James 5:9-12
Psalm 103
Mark 10:1-12

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suffer in silence

"Do not grumble against one another, my brothers, lest you be condemned." —James 5:9

When we're suffering, we feel compelled to grumble, complain, blame, or swear (Jas 5:12). However, we should suffer in silence.

Jesus is our Model. Did He ever grumble against the apostles? Did He complain at the agony in the garden? Did He throw the first stone (Jn 8:7) or swear in court to His innocence? (Mt 27:12) Jesus suffered in silence.

After suffering much, Job came to the same conclusion: "I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more" (Job 40:4-5).

Silent suffering is not an act of despair but of faith. We don't have to complain to get God's attention; we already have it. Our "silence is golden" because the Lord's love is everlasting. He'll never let us down. We're not suffering alone. We "share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death" (Phil 3:10). It's our "special privilege to take Christ's part — not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him" (Phil 1:29).

When we finally break our silence, it should either be in repentance or thanksgiving. If we have caused our suffering through our sins, we should repent. If we are suffering innocently and redemptively, we should thank and praise the Lord. "For then God's Spirit in Its glory has come to rest on you" (1 Pt 4:14).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I know how to suffer (Phil 3:10).

Promise:  "They are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore let no man separate what God has joined." —Mk 10:8-9

Praise:  Theresa's quiet acceptance of her suffering transformed her nursing home.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Redemptive Suffering on audio AV 75-1 or video V-75.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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