Suffering creates focused awareness

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By Dave Henning / December 9, 2018

“Suffering of whatever kind, with whatever it may bring your way, creates a focused awareness that is part of the burden that every sufferer bears. . . .  This new awareness becomes fertile soil for a new set of fears that have the power to shape the way you interpret and live your life.”- Paul David Tripp

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart by acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”- Psalm 19:14

In Chapter 4 (“The Fear Trap”) of Suffering, Paul David Tripp discusses seven details regarding your awareness and fear struggle.  Today, Pastor Tripp talks about the first detail.

 1.  Your new awareness begins to control your meditation.  The focus of your meditation shapes, directs, and controls how wisely you interpret what’s going on in your world and the sanity of your responses to it.  Thus, something always controls your thoughts.

Because suffering tends to kidnap your thoughts, it powerfully impacts your emotions and responses.  Therefore, the more you meditate on your problem, it appears to get bigger, scarier, and more unsolvable.

However, when your daily thoughts focus on the Lord’s goodness, faithfulness, and power, you can calmly do the unthinkable.  As a result, confusing and distressing circumstances don’t paralyze you.  For you view those circumstances through the lens of God’s beautiful faithfulness and awesome power.

In conclusion, Pastor Tripp explains what happens when your suffering replaces God:

“The power of your suffering to control your meditation is a huge spiritual issue for every sufferer.  What controls your meditation will control you thoughts about God, yourself, others, your situation, and even the nature of life itself.  And as you meditate on what you are suffering, your joy wanes, your hope fades, and God seems increasingly distant.”

Today’s question: What focused awareness creates a burden for you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Where you focus the thoughts of your heart”

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Dave Henning

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