Suffering

God performed mighty miracles in the Bible, and He is still working His wonders today. How thrilling when we see Him doing what “can’t be done”! What a mighty God we serve! It’s easy to praise Him when He does the impossible, or even highly improbable, and it builds our faith.

But what about those times when, for whatever reason, He delays, or the answer is “no”? What about the hard reality of tragedy when the unthinkable happens — that thing that only happens to other people?Wouldn’t we all rather praise Him for His miracles than bear the suffering?

What do we do when the answer to our prayers is, “No,” or “Wait”?

Paul, who consistently encouraged himself in the Lord as he suffered for Him and ran his race for Christ with endurance, said this:

1. It is an opportunity to live out our faith for Jesus in trying circumstances for His glory.

Take with me your share of hardship [passing through the difficulties which you are called to endure], like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:3 Amp

2. Suffering produces patient endurance.

And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; Romans 5:3 Amp

3. It teaches us obedience.

Although He was a Son [who had never been disobedient to the Father], He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered.

Hebrews 5:8 Amp

4. We learn the all-sufficiency of God, and His power is displayed in us.

Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.

2 Corinthians 12:8‭-‬9 Amp

5. And then there is this bit of enlightenment:

…who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:4 Amp

When you are going through some trial, who is most helpful and comforting to you? Usually, it is the person who “has been there” – the one who has gone through what you are enduring and come out on the other side! God prepares us for service to Him by teaching us how to endure through the furnace of affliction. He then brings others across our paths who are in that unhappy state so we may help them in the way the Lord helped us.

How encouraging is it to us when we read Paul’s words of hope and comfort in the book of Philippians, written from prison? Even though his “crime” was preaching the gospel, he endured much the same treatment as the criminals there. He was then able to reach out to those who needed Jesus, and who might never have had the opportunity to hear otherwise.

If you are suffering and God has not changed your circumstances, take heart. You are not forgotten by Him. He is working on your behalf, just not in the way you may be praying or hoping- yet!

For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! Romans 8:18 Amp

Categories: About Jesus

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