Fields of Suffering

Rice Fields by Scott Gable (Click image to see more amazing photographs by Scott)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.1

 

Consider: Isn’t it my responsibility is to share what I’ve received?  Doesn’t freedom come with responsibility?  If I don’t go through trouble and receive the comfort of God how will I comfort others?

Further Consideration: In Christ, suffering and consolation abound.2  Everyone suffers, even non-believers; if in the midst of suffering I don’t turn to God, haven’t I removed myself from the blessing of suffering leaving only emptiness?

How silly it is to labor in the fields of suffering and refuse to eat of the fruit.

Reflection:  If I am unable to comfort others, have I shunned suffering, the very instrument that God is using to train and equip me for ministry?3

My Prayer:  Lord, give me the grace to embrace suffering as a surgical instrument of change, trusting that you are molding me into the man you created me to be and, like Christ Jesus, teach me obedience along the way.  Amen

Steps to Change

“Evidence suggests that cognitive change occurs first, followed by behavioral change, and finally intrapsychic resolution.”

I have difficulty with changing my behavior, specifically, my sinful ways.  I don’t remember where I read it, heard it, or even the source but, the statement above grabbed my attention so I jotted it down to investigate.  Several of those words aren’t remotely part of my working vocabulary so I had to look them up.  I started with the word change since that is the goal I want to focus on.

change:
1.  to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of  (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone
2.  to transform or convert
3.  to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else,usually of the same kind

 

cognitive:  of or relating to cognition; concerned with the act or process of knowing, perceiving, etc.  –of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)  –of or relating to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.

cognition:   “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses”.  It is related to processes such as attention, the formation of knowledge, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language.  Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.

behavioral: of or relating to behavior: pertaining to reactions made in response to social stimuli

behavior:
1.  the way in which someone conducts oneself
2a.  the manner of conducting oneself, (criminal behavior, normal adolescent behavior)
2b.  anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation
2c.  the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment
3.  the way in which something functions or operates

 

intrapsychic:  Existing or taking place within the mind or psyche.  A term referring to internal psychological processes of an individual.

resolution:
1.  a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group.
2.  the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.
3.  a resolve; a decision or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
4.  the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose
5.  the act or process of resolving or separating something into constituent or elementary parts.
6.  the resulting state.

 

CHALLENGE / OPEN INVITATION: Okay, I have a better understanding, however I still can’t get my head fully wrapped around what’s being said.  There are lots of scripture verses that flood my mind but I can’t connect the dots succinctly.  I’ve been chewing on this one for awhile; I’m looking for HELP, perhaps you can lend a hand? If you can rephrase the above quote using descriptive everyday language, I would be most appreciative.  I’m hoping it will help me codify the scriptures that promote and effect change so that it can be a blessing to others, like myself, struggling with change.

Study References:
Ps 119:11 AV  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Ps 119:97 AV  O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Jos 1:8 AV  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Ps 1:1-3 AV  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Ps 19:14 AV  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Php 4:8 AV  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

Related Post: A Place in My Heart