the foundation of strength is redeemed suffering

For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal. Job. 5.18

One of the most remarkable things about God is his amazing ability/penchant for redeeming suffering (the cross being the ultimate example). Whatever you have suffered, whatever pain you are going through right now, none of it is in vain, none of it will be lost. The Lord will redeem it. Your strength and ability to minister to and care for others will be founded on the redemption of your own suffering, anointed by the lamb who was slain, who identifies with those in pain.

only the Spirit can set us free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galations 5:1

This is a more positive way to say what I was trying to get at in yesterday’s post and perhaps a verse you would rather meditate on. The reason I went with the other verse was the impression it made on me regarding the sin of rebuilding the law-based system. Christians often think ongoing sins they struggle with being things like lust, anger, pride, or the classic no-nos of smoking, drinking, and cussing, but I think we less often recognize the sinfulness inherent in our self-constructed pieties. Please understand, I am not claiming that we have been set free to sin, that would make no sense, all sin is bondage, set free to be a slave to sin is self-contradictory. But I am saying that sometimes in our efforts to rid ourselves of sin, we set up law-based systems to make this so, and thereby sin in the very act of trying to rid ourselves of sin.
Because the fact remains that we cannot rid ourselves of sin. We cannot save ourselves from our sins and we cannot improve ourselves either. Holiness only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit’s work sets us free from sin, without using a law-based system to do so. Only the Spirit can do such work. Trying to live by laws (whether the OT law or ones we or others invent) impedes the work of the Spirit and according to Paul is sin. And I think one of the sins Christians are most prone to.
There, I’ve gone and made yesterday’s point all over again. Not sure why I’m on about this at the moment, seems someone needs to read it. Hope this helps.