Category Archives: Trials and Suffering

The Power of Praising in Your Pain.

The Power of Praising in Your Pain.

One of the believer’s greatest weapons is joy and peace and great faith in the trying times. What better kind of message does it send a world that does not know such joy and stability then when we who have in Christ defy the natural response to pain and difficulty?

Acts 16:25-34 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

The culminating events led this jailor who had seen them in the dungeon be saved and receive Christ as His personal Lord and Savior.

He must have been baffled and thought, “They are praising a God who allowed this to happen to them? And they are not depressed and discouraged?”

He most likely mulled over the thought for a while till the earth quake became the straw that broke his hardened heart. He saw his need for a savior through these men’s bold endurance in the face of suffering.

None of us enjoy hurting, I do not enjoy where I am at since I feel like I have lost friends and made many enemies, I am also facing a few other things I cannot mention and I am going through an ordeal of “fire” but I have faith in a God who is bigger then my pain or problems. I miss my friend who died last year of cancer, I do not have a huge list of people like Brian was. I feel under attack from a lot of people I love, yet I am as David says, “Confident I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”
Why am I sharing these things? I do not want to be the central focus but I am being held together by God’s presence and goodness. If these things had happened to me in years prior I would be another statistic of suicide. However, praise God I am not. He is the only person I have been able to not feel attacked by lately.

God can help us through our struggles and use it for good.

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Does Your Life Need More Engine Joyl.

Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 

Joy and hope allows us as Christians to bear the sourest trials. But give me a man, woman, or even Christian who has lost sight of hope and even lesser challengers become much heavier.

Joy is like lifting a 250 lb. man with a greater ease in water, do to water’s properties even a 250 lb. man becomes easier to lift then if you tried to lift him on dry ground. Has the man’s weight changed? No. But has the dynamic changed to make lifting the weighty man possible and less strenuous? Yes!

Or take engine oil as another analogy, the friction and stress of life can wear us down and without the joy of the Lord lubricating the gears of our hearts we burn ourselves up fast! Believe me I know. Stress – rest =distress.

Don’t Pine away in life’s struggles.

God’s lessons from nature:

There is a type of tree of the pine family that produces seed cones that are very tough and these cones only release their life giving seeds when intense heat, such as forest fires causes them to open up. A believer also will face the fiery trials of life and as Jesus said, ” Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:24-25

Life is full of storms and difficulties, but we need not despise them but rather embrace the life they can bring forth if we trust God through them.

Child birth is another example of how pain brings new life. The agony lasts only a time but brings forth that which is living and is a great joy, a child, and new life.

Pain can be the ideal catalyst for change and renewal if we respond in a godly way.
James chapter one says “Consider it pure joy when we face trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and endurance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.”

When we go through stressful and difficult times, the Lord can use that to make us less reliant on external circumstances for our stability. Now, most people would just want the bad times to disappear all together, but since we live in a fallen broken world it is an even better blessing to have strength and wholeness to overcome life’s hurdles as opposed to total elimination of life’s difficulties, which will not take place until Christ returns and all things are set right.

But in the meantime, we should grow to handle such times with godly strength and the Lord’s power!

https://www.google.com/search?q=forest%20fire%20causes%20the%20cones&safe=active&gws_rd=ssl

Pain might bey the key to unlock our purpose! 

(There was a little boy, grasping tightly to a tattered teddy bear. His father said, oh my boy, can I have your teddy? The boy fearfully grabs it even closer to his chest with tears in his eyes. The father graciously looks at him and smiles lovingly, and says, my dear son how can I repair it if you do not let me have it?)

God, our loving God knows the deepest longings of our human hearts. Maybe its a broken marriage or a shattered dream, maybe its a goal or desire. But we must trust our loving heavenly father with what is precious to us. Ultimately he is all we need but he loves to give his children great and good gifts. Sometimes God closes certain roads in our life to accomplishing or having certain desires because he may not be keeping us from it but putting up a “road work sign”-

Joseph had dreams for his life, in Genesis he was sold as a slave to Egypt by his jealous brothers, accused falsely by Potiphers wife, thrown in prison, and later he rose to be the second highest ruler in all of Egypt so he could save his family and people back home from famine. Remarkably he forgave his onry brothers when they grieved over what they put him through.

Genesis 45:4-5 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

What a remarkable story! From pit, to prison, to power in the palace! God has a glorious plan. Never give up hope! Never surrender to discouragement or set backs! God wants to use your sorrow to save the lives and souls of many people!

If God is Good, Then Why Suffering?

So many people are perplexed and wonder, if God were good than why so much evil and pain in the world?

I think there are a few reasons.
1.) suffering is a byproduct of living in a sinful world. We have to deal with people who can be selfish just like we can ourselves at times.

God has given each of us an ability to choose right and wrong and sometimes we

A.) Choose wrong and reap the consequences

B.) Others sinful choices affect us. We look at the victims of fraud, drunk driving accidents, terror attacks, homicide and rape and we realize that sometimes people suffer because of others!

C.) We can also suffer as a result of the fallen creation, when sin entered into human existence it acted as a computer virus in a way and messed up the created order. Disease, natural disaster, and death entered the equation. Before the fall, creation knew no curse of sin, it knew no death nor illness nor pain or sorrow.

The good news is that God is a redemptive God. He deals with man’s sin problem on the cross so that those who put their hope in him can look forward to a day when the curse of sin is totally broken! For the time being us who believe in Jesus should act as a glimmer of hope to a dark and broken world, full of pain and hopelessness!

Life here in this world will never be as it once was in perfection as long as sin remains, however, God gives us grace and strength for ever trial. He gives everyone who has come to faith in Christ his permanent presence.

(Romans 8:35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Nothing can remove God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, not even the worst of trials. Now why if God loves us, why does he put us through hard times?

1.) As we have already seen, we live in a fallen world. “For the creation was subjected to frustration” creation is the natural order of this physical existence, yet, in it’s unredeemed state it groans for the “children of God to be revealed”

Romans 8:18-21, 35-39 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God

One day Jesus will make all things right and will remove the decay, yet before he comes he wants to give people a chance to come to him, as many as possible.

2.) Suffering is nothing in comparison to what awaits the child of God. It is “not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us”
A.) Suffering develops a child of God, and although God is not the author of pain and evil he skillfully uses it.

James 1:2-5 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

How to respond to suffering as a Christian?
1.) our perspective needs to be right.
We must see our pain in light of eternity, which can be very hard at times, but we must realize tragedy and trouble can be great tools.

2.) we need to persevere and not throw in the towel. It’s easy to get discouraged but if we do that we miss what he is doing in us.

A.) Why? So we can be “mature and complete”

3.) We need wisdom in our trials. In many of my own personal hardships, I needed wisdom to know HOW to respond in a way that would speed up and maximize growth. Cooperation is very helpful and resisting is not the best option, it usually only makes the trial harder. We ought to ask, “Lord what do you want me to learn from this?” “How should I respond to such trying times?”

4.) We must not give way to tempting doubt.

We may think God doesn’t care or he has no interest, but the truth is he does. We must not doubt his willingness to help us through.

Jesus’s disciples thought this on one occassion. In Matthew 8:23-26, the disciples got into a boat and were sailing along with Jesus and everything seemed ok till “Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. ”

Jesus had not left them, he was only sleeping. When he seems quite it could be just another opportunity to trust that no matter how turbulent life’s waters get, he is still there.

For those who don’t know Christ, He invites them to know Him and trust their lives to him. He never promises an easy life but rather a life where they can be confident of His presence to never forsake them if they recieve his gift of mercy by acknowleging their sins and trusting what His ultimate suffering on the cross can do for them.

When God fill the heart with grief it is God’s way of enlarging his peoples hearts to love more. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.