When we look back on life, often,
our trials and tribulations come most easily to our memory.
Those times when everything moved along easily
tend to fade into relative insignificance.
When human support or material help
of any kind is removed,
that is when God's power can become operative.
Even when suffering comes to those who are innocent,
there may be the possibility
of greater good within that suffering.
Endurance is faith tried almost to the breaking point.
is the same as the suffering of Jesus.
We need a pure heart
to see the hand of God,
to feel the hand of God,
to recognize the gift of God
in our suffering.
Troubles, trials, and tragedies have touched us all,
and no one is immune from the pressures of life
One might ask...
How can a just God allow such things to happen?
How it is that God, who loves us so much,
should allow suffering to come into our homes?
As it goes...
sadness is a part of our journey.
Sometimes we feel completely alone
when we are suffering.
We feel helpless and useless.
When we need God, the most,
sometimes we feel that God is not there.
We may feel at times as if God is unfair and harsh,
but He is a God of Love
who permits things in our life
that are temporarily very painful
so that His eternal purposes
may be worked out.
Our suffering in life can be a potent jolt
in making us more discerning and progressive.
Suffering can be
part of the ways of God's working
for our own development
and to bring us to a knowledge of
Each of us has, more than likely, had a loved one die,
been the victim of a crime,
lived among or been exposed to the poverty-stricken,
or in some way been confronted with
the reality of suffering.
We all have stories of suffering,
and these encounters come in many different forms...
affecting countless people in numerous ways.
Think about it:
There are sudden accidents, disabilities, natural disasters,
life-threatening hardships... like a terminal illness,
a marriage could be failing,
a child could have broken a parent's heart or vice versa,
one could have just lost their job and now find
themselves in a financial disaster... barely making it,
one could be frightened, lonely,
misunderstood, or depressed.
God allows us to suffer for various reasons.
Sometimes it takes difficulties, hardships, pain, loss,
tragedies, accidents, family or health issues
to get our attention.
Sometimes God allows these things to enter a life
in order for one to detach from all else...
and look to Him.
Sometimes God puts us on our backs...
so there's nowhere else to look,
Whether we are innocent victims
or we bear partial responsibility,
we still naturally wonder... "Why is life so difficult?"
Why must there be disease and death?
Why must the innocent suffer?
Why are the innocent victimized?
Why must there be heartache and disappointment?
Why do the wicked prosper,
while the righteous take such a beating?
How are we to respond to suffering?
What do we do, and how do we respond
when suffering strikes our family?
Is there any way we can "Learn" what to do about
How can we help those who are suffering?
Is there purpose in pain?
Is there any escape?
Where is God in all of this suffering?
Will there ever be a way out of this confusion?
Where and when can we see the fulfillment
of our heart's desire?
Are we doomed to just suffer, and live as "Sufferers?"
These are questions that countless individuals have
wrestled with... and tried to figure out.
What right have we, as Believers,
to expect that we will be exempt from
trials and tribulations?
Jesus endured the cross.
The more fruitful our lives...
the more God will cultivate us.
There is nothing strange about suffering...
for the Believer.
May we endure whatever it is we are facing, and
"Rejoice inasmuch as we participate
in the sufferings of Christ,
so that we may be overjoyed...
when His glory is revealed."
God knows exactly
where we are in life.
He knows, sees, cares, and controls all.
No matter what we may be facing in life,
God promises to use all things
God will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be called
great oaks that God has planted for His own Glory.
We must face the undeniable fact that Believers do suffer.
According to many verses in the New Testament,
Believers will suffer in this world...
that's a fact of life.
Suffering is not... "A walk in the park."
It can be very painful.
To suffer is to be challenged on many levels.
Whether the suffering is physical,
spiritual, emotional, or psychological...
the purpose of our suffering should be seen as
an opportunity for our growth.
According to Scripture...
testing, trial, suffering, and chastening
are God's way of purifying, cleansing, and conforming us
to the image of His Son, Jesus.
When insulted for the Name of Christ...
we can consider ourselves blessed.
Those who live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted...
so don’t think it’s strange and it’s unique to you alone.
What then does it mean to
“Share in His sufferings”?
To share in Jesus' suffering refers to suffering persecution,
opposition, and hardship.
Jesus didn’t remain in the grave.
He triumphed over sin and death.
Jesus humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place
and gave Him the Name that is above every name,
that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Since God was able to bring about
such a glorious outcome from Jesus’ suffering,
We should trust God to take care of us.
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