October 22, 2022

How God Uses Suffering To Shape Us

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:3-8

As puzzles go, sufferings aren’t entertaining; they are excruciating and baffling. The occurrence of these events is unknown, and their causes are unclear. After losing his children, wealth, and health, Job felt tremendous pain (Job 3). But Job knew that God was in control, and we know God is a loving and committed parent. Because our heavenly Father has everything under control (Eph (Rom. 8:28); God is still at work in our suffering to our eternal spiritual advantage. Here are several scenarios where we may see God’s love for his children and how he turns evil into good.

From the sufferings of women, the Saviour is birthed.

Women whose lives were marked by agony and suffering are included in the lineage of Jesus, as stated in Matthew 1:1-17. Widowed and penniless, Tamar lied to her father-in-law about her husband’s death so that she might have children (Gen. 38). Although Rahab was spared, her city was not (Josh. 2-6). Ruth, a young widow, moved abroad (Ruth 1-4) to better provide for herself and her small son. King David used Bathsheba unfairly, leading to the death of her husband (2 Sam. 11–12). Mary, probably relatively young, was accused of adultery (Matt. 1:18-20).

Each woman suffered much, regardless of whether or not her particular microstory had an excellent conclusion. Matthew’s genealogy reminds us that Christ is the real hero of these women’s stories. The affliction of God’s people was how they were redeemed. Jesus’ identification with their history transformed their trials into conduits via which good might be brought to the nations.

Reconciliation with God via Christ’s Atonement

“For God so loved the world that He sacrificed His only Son” (John 3:16). I thought to myself,  “That was a reckless love of God.” Jesus, the Son of God, who had never been apart from his Father and knew no pain, took on human form. As a human, Jesus was subjected to humiliation, hostility, hunger, doubt, pain, rejection, the full power of Satan’s temptations, the wrath of his Father, and ultimately death. There was no responsibility on his part for these occurrences.

But the story did not end with Jesus’ agony. He miraculously regained consciousness! Now, he’s making room in paradise for his brothers and sisters to join our heavenly Father (John 14:2). Jesus endured suffering for the sake of his people. God’s sorrow and effort are used for our spiritual benefit in the midst of our muddled, tragic history. They will culminate in something magnificent: an everlasting inheritance (Heb. 9:15).

Our trials enhance our purity.

There is abundant proof that God uses suffering for the good of his children. God used women’s suffering to give us Christ. As a reward for Christ’s sacrifice, God grants his people everlasting life. Despite our inability to fathom the “why” of our sufferings, Christ has established a loving channel of communication with the God in control. In this, He is firmly on our side (Rom. 8:32).

God allows his children to go through trials so that they might grow in their faith and maturity as Christians (Rom. 5:3). Christ endured pain; his disciples will, too (2 Tim. 2:3). A Christian’s life will likely include trials and tribulations, whether they be the result of persecution for their faith, illness, the stresses and strains of everyday life, the loss of loved ones, or the struggle against the sin that is inside them (1 Pet. 5:9).

Christ bore the burden of the cross, and his disciples must also (Luke 9:23). On the other hand, Christians may be confident that their suffering will serve a greater purpose and that everything will be set right in the end since their good Father is in control.

Using God as a compass in times of trouble

First, you should not run away from God through hard times. When you run from God in times of need, you’re left with nothing but your limited resources to get you through. But Scripture points us toward God’s open invitation to come to him for rest, healing, and closeness.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18

As we need a surgeon to repair bodily wounds, God wants to do spiritual surgery on our souls, leading to miraculous recovery no matter how horrible our condition may be.

When we tell God about our pain, we admit that it has a purpose, and in time, the God of unconditional love will show us what that purpose is.

Second, fill your life with the Bible and other Christians.

A positive or negative response to pain and suffering may profoundly affect our perception of events and the rate of progress toward healing. Suppose a health problem isn’t properly diagnosed and treated with medicine. In that case, the symptoms may not only keep getting worse but also stay that way.

If you are continuously thinking wicked thoughts such as, “God is mad with me,” “God is not good,” “worse things are coming to come,” etc., you will find it impossible to experience the peace of God that He offers to us in Scripture (Philippians 4:7). However, if you invest your time and energy in people who uplift you and fill you with God’s Word, you’ll have a lot more positive and healing experiences.

“Your feedback is sweeter than honey to my taste.” Psalm 119:103

“Get a taste of the LORD’s kindness and see for yourself. Oh, the joy of those who find safety in his arms.” Psalm 34:8

Spending time in God’s Word strengthens our faith in God and provides a counterweight to the devil’s lies.

Third, let your heart burst with appreciation instead of anxiety.

Something incredible happens when we intentionally decide to worship amid our suffering. We don’t deny reality; all we’re doing is switching from worry to awe. We get a new perspective as a result of our worship. What we worship reveals the source of our faith and optimism. The act of prayer alters our outlook. When we surrender our will to God in worship, he gets to decide what happens.

Jesus Ends the Sad Innuendos

Through Jesus Christ, God takes in sinners who are otherwise alienated from him and makes them his beloved children. Only in Christ can our tears be turned into laughter. Only he can turn this tragedy into something positive. Christ’s sacrifice earned for God’s people the whole complement of God’s blessings (Eph. 2:7). Christ endured hell to give his children eternal life with him as their Father. In Christ, the enigmas of our sadness become the lyricism of our delight. Even if our sorrows and afflictions aren’t forgotten in eternity, they won’t have the same devastating impact.

When you are suffering now or in the future, remember what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

“Teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you: lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matthew 28:20

October 22, 2022

How God Uses Suffering To Shape Us

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:3-8

As puzzles go, sufferings aren’t entertaining; they are excruciating and baffling. The occurrence of these events is unknown, and their causes are unclear. After losing his children, wealth, and health, Job felt tremendous pain (Job 3). But Job knew that God was in control, and we know God is a loving and committed parent. Because our heavenly Father has everything under control (Eph (Rom. 8:28); God is still at work in our suffering to our eternal spiritual advantage. Here are several scenarios where we may see God’s love for his children and how he turns evil into good.

From the sufferings of women, the Saviour is birthed.

Women whose lives were marked by agony and suffering are included in the lineage of Jesus, as stated in Matthew 1:1-17. Widowed and penniless, Tamar lied to her father-in-law about her husband’s death so that she might have children (Gen. 38). Although Rahab was spared, her city was not (Josh. 2-6). Ruth, a young widow, moved abroad (Ruth 1-4) to better provide for herself and her small son. King David used Bathsheba unfairly, leading to the death of her husband (2 Sam. 11–12). Mary, probably relatively young, was accused of adultery (Matt. 1:18-20).

Each woman suffered much, regardless of whether or not her particular microstory had an excellent conclusion. Matthew’s genealogy reminds us that Christ is the real hero of these women’s stories. The affliction of God’s people was how they were redeemed. Jesus’ identification with their history transformed their trials into conduits via which good might be brought to the nations.

Reconciliation with God via Christ’s Atonement

“For God so loved the world that He sacrificed His only Son” (John 3:16). I thought to myself,  “That was a reckless love of God.” Jesus, the Son of God, who had never been apart from his Father and knew no pain, took on human form. As a human, Jesus was subjected to humiliation, hostility, hunger, doubt, pain, rejection, the full power of Satan’s temptations, the wrath of his Father, and ultimately death. There was no responsibility on his part for these occurrences.

But the story did not end with Jesus’ agony. He miraculously regained consciousness! Now, he’s making room in paradise for his brothers and sisters to join our heavenly Father (John 14:2). Jesus endured suffering for the sake of his people. God’s sorrow and effort are used for our spiritual benefit in the midst of our muddled, tragic history. They will culminate in something magnificent: an everlasting inheritance (Heb. 9:15).

Our trials enhance our purity.

There is abundant proof that God uses suffering for the good of his children. God used women’s suffering to give us Christ. As a reward for Christ’s sacrifice, God grants his people everlasting life. Despite our inability to fathom the “why” of our sufferings, Christ has established a loving channel of communication with the God in control. In this, He is firmly on our side (Rom. 8:32).

God allows his children to go through trials so that they might grow in their faith and maturity as Christians (Rom. 5:3). Christ endured pain; his disciples will, too (2 Tim. 2:3). A Christian’s life will likely include trials and tribulations, whether they be the result of persecution for their faith, illness, the stresses and strains of everyday life, the loss of loved ones, or the struggle against the sin that is inside them (1 Pet. 5:9).

Christ bore the burden of the cross, and his disciples must also (Luke 9:23). On the other hand, Christians may be confident that their suffering will serve a greater purpose and that everything will be set right in the end since their good Father is in control.

Using God as a compass in times of trouble

First, you should not run away from God through hard times. When you run from God in times of need, you’re left with nothing but your limited resources to get you through. But Scripture points us toward God’s open invitation to come to him for rest, healing, and closeness.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18

As we need a surgeon to repair bodily wounds, God wants to do spiritual surgery on our souls, leading to miraculous recovery no matter how horrible our condition may be.

When we tell God about our pain, we admit that it has a purpose, and in time, the God of unconditional love will show us what that purpose is.

Second, fill your life with the Bible and other Christians.

A positive or negative response to pain and suffering may profoundly affect our perception of events and the rate of progress toward healing. Suppose a health problem isn’t properly diagnosed and treated with medicine. In that case, the symptoms may not only keep getting worse but also stay that way.

If you are continuously thinking wicked thoughts such as, “God is mad with me,” “God is not good,” “worse things are coming to come,” etc., you will find it impossible to experience the peace of God that He offers to us in Scripture (Philippians 4:7). However, if you invest your time and energy in people who uplift you and fill you with God’s Word, you’ll have a lot more positive and healing experiences.

“Your feedback is sweeter than honey to my taste.” Psalm 119:103

“Get a taste of the LORD’s kindness and see for yourself. Oh, the joy of those who find safety in his arms.” Psalm 34:8

Spending time in God’s Word strengthens our faith in God and provides a counterweight to the devil’s lies.

Third, let your heart burst with appreciation instead of anxiety.

Something incredible happens when we intentionally decide to worship amid our suffering. We don’t deny reality; all we’re doing is switching from worry to awe. We get a new perspective as a result of our worship. What we worship reveals the source of our faith and optimism. The act of prayer alters our outlook. When we surrender our will to God in worship, he gets to decide what happens.

Jesus Ends the Sad Innuendos

Through Jesus Christ, God takes in sinners who are otherwise alienated from him and makes them his beloved children. Only in Christ can our tears be turned into laughter. Only he can turn this tragedy into something positive. Christ’s sacrifice earned for God’s people the whole complement of God’s blessings (Eph. 2:7). Christ endured hell to give his children eternal life with him as their Father. In Christ, the enigmas of our sadness become the lyricism of our delight. Even if our sorrows and afflictions aren’t forgotten in eternity, they won’t have the same devastating impact.

When you are suffering now or in the future, remember what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

“Teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you: lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matthew 28:20

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