Dear Ones,
Hope you wake up to a day of thankfulness. This morning I am going downstairs for coffee and choc covered raspberries. This afternoon we are having a couple over for prayer and fellowship, which we look forward to. 
This week  your question is what have you gained through what you have suffered in your life?
Devotions from Judy’s heart
   How well do we suffer​? I guess I don’t know anyone that says they love to suffer but many share that good came from their suffering and left them more dependent on the Lord. We all will go through struggles in our lives and are told to give our suffering to the Lord; as it says in Rom.8:16-17 (ESV), “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”
   We are not to run from God when going through those hard times, but to run to Him. We can pour out our hearts to Him for He fully understands. Psychology Professor Todd Hall writes about how we can grow through these experiences. Many come away with a deeper appreciation for life and no longer take things for granted. Some have a change in their priorities as they know in a new way how precious time and relationships are. Others find meaning in and through their suffering and are strengthened spiritually. Some even discover spiritual strength that they didn’t know they had and are amazed. Al and I have often been surprised as we have seen those in our congregations that seem to sail through tough times, and others that fall apart. Todd also brings out that some come through suffering with greater acceptance of their vulnerabilities and limitations. People see how helpless they are and depend more on the Lord.
   We may find that when going through suffering, it makes us more compassionate of others who are going through similar hard things and we can express our emotions more openly. I remember shedding tears with a friend who lost her baby and there were no words at the time, we just sat together and cried.
   It does help to have others who will walk beside us in our suffering and we feel the strength of their support and are able to tell them what we are experiencing. We don’t feel alone but rather joined together in a deeper way.
    Sometimes we change our priorities after going through a hard time. We see what is really important. What we learn through it all can also be passed on to others who go through similar situations..
Let us give our suffering to the Lord that we become more like Him.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to make you stronger as you go through suffering. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy