UCM LIBRARY
Reflections
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Mon-Tue    9am -  4pm
Wed          9am -  6pm
Sat          10am -  4pm
Sun         10am - 12nn
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Rhona Bautista
Head Librarian
Union Church of Manila Library
Rada St. [corner Legaspi St.]
Legaspi Village, Makati 1229
PHILIPPINES
 
Tel: [632] 812-6062/812-5709
Fax: 817-2386
E-mail:
     rbautista@unionchurch.ph
     library@unionchurch.ph
 
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Welcome to the Reflections Page!  This page is devoted to individual's reflections on his spiritual journey through life and in Christian faith.  It is a space for sharing thoughts, perspectives, musings, and learning of life's joys, problems and challenges. It is a venue to praise God through verses, prayers, essays, poems, and artworks that reflect Christian values, hopes and aspirations.  It is an opportunity to give inspirational messages of Jesus Christ's unwavering, unconditional, and overflowing love and mercy. It is a dedication to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

                      Reflections on Suffering based on Romans 8:12-25

 

In the verses we read, Paul talks about Christians having an obligation to live according to the Holy Spirit rather than their sinful nature. This is because the Holy Spirit has joined them to Jesus Christ who, in His mercy and love, gave Himself as ransom to save men from eternal damnation and bring them into everlasting life with God. Therefore, in order to show their love and gratitude to Christ for performing the ultimate sacrifice, Christians should turn their backs on their sinful ways and live a life of obedience to and trust in God. The good news is that those who truly follow Christ are adopted into God’s family.

 

Verse 17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”

 

Many people, however, have the impression that if we are in Christ, we will not have to go through suffering at all. But there is nothing in the Bible where Jesus promises His followers a bed of roses. For Jesus Himself suffered. Therefore, if we follow Him, we should also expect to suffer.

 

Suffering is a reality for Christians and non-Christians alike. Rain falls on the good, as well as on the evil. Suffering is inevitable, and is part of our earthly existence. We suffer each time we lose a loved one to death. We groan when we are in pain or are sick. Many of us work so hard for such long hours, yet do not earn enough to feed our families. The effects of wars and natural disasters are devastating. The list goes on and on.

 

Paul’s view of suffering is interesting to note. In Romans 8:18, he says, “I consider that our previous sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” What Paul is saying here is that suffering is the pain and the hurt that our bodies experience in the present. But no matter how much we agonize, it is featherweight compared to the glory that will be revealed to us in the future—The glory of being in the presence of God for all eternity.

 

Paul also likens suffering to the experience of childbirth. The pains and groanings of a mother are but momentary and easily forgotten once her much-awaited child is born.

 

In pretty much the same manner, we groan and cry as we go through our own sufferings. But we find that we can bear it all with patience as we look forward to the hope of the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies.

 

A Christian’s hope is sure and certain—It is grounded in God’s words, and is therefore, not wishful thinking.

 

How does our reading today apply in my life? Like all of you, I do suffer. How do I cope? I cry. I pray. I read the Bible.

 

On my desk sits a framed verse of Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” This verse reminds me to turn to Jesus every time I am suffering, and not to my friends or relatives. And then in my mind, I bundle up whatever concerns I have and leave them at the foot of the cross. With no burdens left to carry, I find that I can face the day with joy and peace, and I can even smile through the storm.

 

Writing is therapeutic to me when I am burdened. I recall passages in the Bible that will help me understand my situation. I ask God to help me grow in my faith as I struggle through my problems. I journal my thoughts and share my writings with others. I notice that people do read what I write, perhaps just out of a courtesy. But read they do, nonetheless, and for me it is one of my ways of sharing the Gospel with others.

 

Another thing I do is sing hymns. Singing soothes my nerves and when I sing I can literally feel God’s warm embrace. There are three hymns that I sing over and over when I am suffering: The first one is “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go. I Rest My Weary Soul In Thee.” The lyrics of the hymn reassure me of God’s love. He delights in me so much that He does not even want to let me go. Knowing that my Creator loves me so much lessens my pain and comforts me in ways that I cannot even begin to describe.

 

The second is “Be Thou My Vision.” This hymn reminds me to keep looking to God and not to my circumstances. God is as powerful as He is faithful to His promises. When I look at my sufferings, I tend to make mountains out of molehills. But when I focus on God, I realize that everything that happens to me has passed through His loving hands and because of that, I have no reason to worry.

 

There are times, though, that I just feel weighed down by my circumstances. Singing the hymn “Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow” gives me hope and reminds me that everything I am going through is only temporary and will soon pass. And that if I continue to trust and obey God, I can look forward to getting that one reward that all Christians covet—Eternal life with God in heaven.

 

Are you suffering right now? Don’t be tempted to sin by turning to the world and its ways for relief. For if you look back at Verse 12, you will be reminded that in Christ you are made new—Your nature becomes His, so there is really no need for you to despair or lose heart. God loves you so much that He will never let you go. Look to God and not to your circumstances. We have a God who is all-powerful and faithful who is bigger and stronger than anything that you will ever face in life.

 

More importantly, there is hope for all who believe and put their trust in Jesus Christ—The hope of seeing God face-to-face and living with Him in heaven for all eternity.

 

Written by Carmen B. Sibayan, UCM Member

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Schedule
Mon-Tue    9am -  4pm
Wed          9am -  7pm
Sat          10am -  4pm
Sun         10am - 12:30 pm
 
Library closed during lunch break
Contact
Rhona Bautista
Head Librarian
Union Church of Manila Library
Rada St. [corner Legaspi St.]
Legaspi Village, Makati 1229
PHILIPPINES
 
Tel: [632] 812-6062/812-5709
Fax: 817-2386
E-mail:
     library@unionchurch.ph
 
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