While others are doubting … Believe.
While others are playing … Plan.
While others are sleeping … Study.
While others are delaying … Decide.
While others are daydreaming … Prepare.
While others are procrastinating … Begin.
While others are wishing … Work.
While others are talking … Listen.
While others are pouting … Smile.
While are others are criticizing … Commend.
While others are quitting … Persist.
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Why Do Christians Suffer?
By: J. Meyer
As Christians, we like the thought of
sharing in Christ's glory, but what about sharing in His suffering? Jesus took
care of the death penalty once and for all so we don't ever have to worry about
that again. But the Bible teaches that we must suffer times of trial if we are
to share in the glory. Is it worth it? Read what Paul says in Romans 8:18: ...For I consider that the sufferings of this
present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory
that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!
Acting Right When Things Are Wrong
Many of us think we suffer because of
our circumstances. We believe that if our circumstances would change, we'd be
able to act right. But God wants us to become so mature and stable that we act
right even when none of our circumstances are good. There are different levels
of faith, and most of the time we want to use our faith to get rid of a
problem. But sometimes God's plan is for us to exercise a higher level of faith
that will carry us through life's challenges. This requires even greater faith
than being delivered from a situation.
Too often we marvel at the delivering
power of God and overlook His keeping, strengthening and enabling power.
Although there are many reasons why Christians suffer, I would like to address
what I believe are eight of the most common reasons why there is suffering in
A Lack of Word Knowledge
Many Christians suffer because they're
too busy seeking carnal knowledge
instead of the Word of God. The Lord Himself said, My people are destroyed
for lack of knowledge... (Hosea 4:6). Paul was an educated man, with a wealth of carnal
knowledge. When he realized the importance of spiritual knowledge, he said,
...I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display
of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except
Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Like Paul, we need to realize the
importance of learning spiritual things, for Galatians 6:8 says, ...he who sows to his own flesh (lower
nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction,
but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Once we know the Word of God, we have a
responsibility to be obedient to it. Too many of us intend to be obedient, but
put it off. Even procrastination is disobedience, and it can cause us to
suffer. James 4:7 gives us good advice: Submit yourselves
therefore to God... . When God tells me to do something, I find it helpful
to write it down. This serves as a reminder that I must be obedient if I want
God's blessings. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good
of the land (Isaiah 1:19).
To Purify and Test Your Faith
Sometimes people seem surprised that
they must go through a time of trial or suffering. Perhaps they’ve been
faithful to learn and obey the Word, and the trials still come. Sometimes
trials come simply to test and purify our faith. [You should] be
exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be
distressed by trials and suffer temptations, so that [the genuineness] of your
faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the
perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your
faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus
Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed(1 Peter 1:6-7).
A Need for Brokenness
The word brokenness may strike
fear in some people, but it's really not a bad word. God doesn’t desire to
break our spirits, but He wants to break that outer shell, the flesh that
prevents Him from being all He wants to be in and through us. He wants to break
off things like pride, rebellion, selfishness and independence. God wants us to
be totally dependent on Him, and suffering seems to bring us to that point.
However, having to depend on God
shouldn't cause us to feel sorry for ourselves. I once said, “Oh, God, I'm so
lonely, and I don't have anybody but You.” And the Holy Spirit said, "Poor
Joyce, you're just stuck with God." I've discovered that having only God
is a good position to be in.
To Build Compassion
Compassion is born out of experiencing
similar problems. The Bible says, ...we do not have a High Priest Who is unable
to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and
infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been
tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning (Hebrews 4:15). It comforts me to know that Jesus understands me
and has compassion.
Going through trials and experiencing
God's deliverance better equips us to minister to others. Our pain is never
wasted; it brings about compassion that reaches out to other hurting people by
saying, "I've been there, and God brought me through it, and He'll do the
same for you."
To Encourage Others
The apostle Paul said there were many
things that God allowed him to go through simply as object lessons for other
people. ...I want you to know and continue to rest assured, brethren, that what
[has happened] to me [this imprisonment] has actually only served to advance
and give a renewed impetus to the [spreading of the] good news (the Gospel)....
most of the brethren have derived fresh confidence in the Lord because of my
chains and are much more bold to speak and publish fearlessly the Word of
God... (Philippians 1:12-14). Even in Paul's imprisonment, his stability and
ability to be used of God was evident.
If we’re to minister to others, we too
must face some adverse circumstances. But if we stand in faith and confidence,
God will bring us through to victory, and we'll be a great encouragement to
others in the process.
Because of the Word
Sometimes we suffer attacks from the
enemy simply because of our involvement with the Word of God.Mark 4:17 speaks of those who hear the Word and endure it
for a while, ...then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word,
they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and
they stumble and fall away. When someone receives the Word of God, Satan
delights in coming immediately to try to steal what’s been sown in their heart.
He knows the Word will strengthen us and help us live a victorious Christian
life, and he wants to stop it if he can. So it’s imperative to guard the Word
in your heart and resist the devil from stealing it away from you.
Because of Living in the World
Christians may also face trials and
suffer simply because we live in a world full of sin. But Jesus said, “I
have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and
confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and
frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain,
undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm
you and have conquered it for you]” (John 16:33).
What a promise! Understanding the reason
for our suffering and having the assurance of the final glory we'll share
should make it a little easier to enjoy our lives...even during the times of
sharing in suffering.
And if we are [His] children, then we
are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His
inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His
glory(Romans 8:17). ADs: https://www.facebook.com/ehdlive
By: D. Delay Our family enjoys the fun andrefreshment of water slides and lazy rivers during hot summer vacations. At
most water parks, there are also one or two spots where large buckets hang overhead
filling little by little with water. The closer the bucket gets to being full,
the larger the crowd grows beneath in anticipation—children and adults alike
wait for the outpouring. Then SUDDENLY the bucket tips and a great flood of
refreshment crashes down on all below! In the Book of Revelation, the Bible
describes golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints
(Revelation 5:8). In other words, the prayers of God's people collectively fill
heavenly bowls with sweet aroma, much like the burnt offerings did in days of
old. In Revelation 8,
we discover what these bowls are used for: "Then another angel, having a
golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he
should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden alter w…