I don’t know how much straw a camel can carry. I don’t know how heavy a burden I can carry. We all have a tendency, however, to suppose that we can carry far less than we actually can.”
Christian or not , suffering remains inevitable while you live on this Earth.
The last post we talked about the different forms suffering. You can find it here. https://behindclosedscreens.wordpress.com/2022/05/04/does-god-ordain-suffering-part-1/
We humans have a tendency to ask ‘Why’ only when it is a direct effect on us for instance; If one encounters a terminal illness, a child with a defect, imprisonment, a terrible accident etc.
Firstly it is quite unfortunate that we have adopted the world view of suffering. We seek to dull the physical and emotional pain.
‘if it feels nice don’t think twice’ and be assured you will end up piercing yourself with more sorrows.
We are told you get to choose how you will feel about it so in that case ignore it .
We have been taught to minimize the reality of our grief and pretend as if nothing is happening.
But this is not the approach in the Bible.
It is not sinful to mourn or admit pain. One thing we know is that God is always with us in our pain.
We need to look at our suffering differently for the sake of the Gospel, for the cause of Christ.
If you are Christian you have definitely encountered the “Why” question.
I have to admit we cannot always have all the answers and it’s typically shown with the famous Job story. We don’t know why he suffered but we know that God allowed it to happen.
So I must say it is not as important to understand why as to the Truth that it is important that you trust God.
This is a smaller part of the big picture, we are only finite and truth is we will not always know why and God is not obligated to give us a reason but rather to Trust him and rest in the Truth that your afflictions and pain come to you for ultimate good and to his ultimate glory.
We are not completely left in the dark thou his word does highlight some ways God uses suffering unto his Glory;
God will use suffering to expose the sin in our hearts.
Pain has a way of cracking our hearts open and they are laid bare.
It can reveal our lack of faith in God when you begin to question ‘How could you let this happen to me God?’
The best example in the Bible was King David. He takes another man’s wife and kills her husband, they have a child who dies even after King David prayed so hard to God.
Nathan the Prophet is sent to King David who confronts King David and he repents ,he responds this with the famous Psalm 51.
If anything Suffering cleanses us , reveals and kills our present sin and helps us turn back to God.
God will also use suffering to wean us from the love of this World and redirect our thoughts and affections towards God.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Matthew 19 :16-30 is beautiful. It speaks of a rich young man who seeks to know how he can have eternal life and Jesus tells him what to do. He says he has done it all.
See what Jesus responds to him;
Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Please note he went away sorrowful for had great possessions in otherwards how hard it is to part with the Worldly treasures. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
The afflictions we face are a constant reminder that this world is indeed not our home and they serve as arrows directing us not to hold onto what will fade but to hold onto what is unending.
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Suffering will also help us distinguish a true believer from a hypocrite.
Many call on Jesus name until that time comes. We may all call on his name but God cannot be fooled. He knows those who are his.
When suffering falls on any one it is an opportunity to discover the sincerity of our love, belief and hope in God.
A believer will cling to God and unbeliever will forsake him. It will separate the sheep and the goats.
Suffering is also an opportunity to bear witness to the world.
Romans 5:3-5 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
We usually skip over the words of one who rejoices in sufferings.
It is not that it is pleasurable ,it is the unshakable hope we carry in God that is displayed.
Have you met a person who is suffering and yet peaceful and hopeful?
It is a beautiful display of God’s Grace in securing a man’s salvation.
Our frequent trials and afflictions are not in vain. Take heart that God knows and understands it so well.
Rest in the surety of his promise that he will never forsake you because he will Never.
It is a constant testimony through out the scriptures that the people understood that life is about self denial and cross bearing and that it is a constant fight.
The right response to suffering, afflictions, trials is to affirm what God actually says in his word. Even when we cannot exhaustively explain every part of it.
If you are suffering you must use the instrument (Bible) God has given us to weather the storms.
James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
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