By virtue of my present ministry, I talk with many who are struggling with life issues… significant life issues. Eventually in discussions the question comes up… “Why?” On my last blog I attempted to answer this question and suggest reading it for your edification. CLICK HERE.
WHY does God allow varying degrees of suffering to enter His Children’s life? Why do those who try to follow God find themselves in long stretches of hardship and difficulty? Why does it seem that God stands by, watching his children suffer when… as God… He could do something about it?! These are the questions the above link seeks to answer.
So many times people have made a faith statement about God and then follow it with the word “BUT.” They sound something like this… “I trust God, His love… compassion… and mercy… BUT I just can’t face another day with the pain and hurt I have.” Could I suggest that NOW is the best time to prepare for when you will be tested by life’s trials? Well… let’s continue…
When “But” is inserted to an argument everything prior to it is negated. “I believe you BUT…” “I trust you BUT…” “I love God BUT…” “I trust God BUT…”
From my point of view and experience, either we trust God… take Him at His Word… and rest in Him OR we don’t. We either believe or we don’t. There is no half way when it comes to faith in and about God. The amount of faith we have isn’t the point as much as THAT we have faith! Now let me throw us a curve…
The more we want to be like Jesus… the more Godly we desire to be… the more we want to grow and mature in holiness… the more we will suffer AND understand it as God’s way to grow us in our faith! In other words, if we don’t want to be like Jesus and have a mature faith we’d better accept that the way God does it will be through hardship and difficulty. If we want an easy life free of trial and difficulty, then we are choosing the road opposite of Jesus. Consider the Scripture…
All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12).
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (Ja 1:2-4)
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death… (Phil 3:7-10)
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Mt 13:20-21)
Suffering is NOT a popular message and people won’t often embrace it. Joel Osteen is proof of that!
I do hope you will seriously consider understanding life in terms of God rather than God in terms of life event.