suffering

As we consider the anguish of Jesus Christ today…. we need to realize that nobody, including Him, “likes” suffering…. but it was and is a necessity in this present world. (Luke 22:42-43)

Humans will do almost anything to avoid it…. but suffering is a consequence of SIN and is UNAVOIDABLE in this world. (2 Timothy 3:12)

The mystery of WHY some people suffer more than others has led to all kinds of incorrect conclusions down through the centuries since the beginning (when SIN entered the world) (Psalms 73:12-19)

But clearly, from the natural point of view, it is no different than many of the other “problems” that face humans…. hunger, disaster and many more “problems” affect some and not others. (Luke 13:1-5)

Our real concern should be “beyond the grave”….. why ? ….. because the time we spend on this earth is but a small drop in the vast ocean of ETERNITY.

All the “people of God” mentioned in the Bible  realised this….. and it is sad that today many Christians are living “short-sighted” and spend most of their time “digging in” to their earthly existence, rather than preparing for their ETERNAL future.

The Bible clearly teaches that God blesses the righteous and, though some of them may suffer during their life, He is able to make such suffering count for their eternal benefit AND give them the unfailing strength and grace to endure it while they are going thru the experience. (Job 42:12-17)

It is a WIN-WIN situation actually…. because what are the alternatives ?

You cannot “escape” suffering by doing evil because that brings judgement….. and you cannot escape it by being “neutral”, because when SIN entered the world it was ENDEMIC…  if you are NOT being led by God you are under the condemnation of SIN…. EVEN though you may abhor (what you think are) the “worst sins” and imagine that you are “not a sinner”…. in reality, all sin is SIN. (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8)

If the righteous have to endure suffering…. why would anybody else think they can “get away” from it ? (1 Peter 4:18)

Having accepted that ALL OF US have to suffer to some degree or other…. we should be able to clearly see the TWO PATHS set before us….

When the wicked suffer…. they get nothing…. they are simply reaping the consequences of their evil ways…. and can look forward to even more suffering in the future.

However, when the righteous suffer there is  ALWAYS BLESSING to follow…. Jesus suffered horribly for us…. and now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Head of the whole human race in the Glorious world to come.

The Prophets and Martyrs  suffered for their faith in proclaiming the True Message of God….. and they went to join Christ in everlasting Glory. (Acts 7:55-60)

The blessings of this earth are a snare to the soul…. see that you do not get entangled by it…… this is why the book of Revelation was given by God to the saints…. it is both a WARNING and an ENCOURAGEMENT… it just depends on where you stand with God.

Our lives will usually contain both good times and bad…..  we cant have everything good….. and we wont have everything bad either….  the important thing is our attitude towards GOD during both the good and bad times.

We MUST put GOD’s Will above ourselves and our own desires…. and thankfully, even when we fail to do this, we can ask forgiveness through Jesus and start all over again.

As we consider the suffering of Jesus today…. let us thank Him that He was willing to go through it for us….. and ask Him to help us to be willing (should the need arise) to endure whatever comes our way in the course of doing God’s Perfect Will.

I also publish on http://users.bible.org/blogs/stephenmendes and you might find the message for today that is over there, both helpful and interesting.

Have a blessed Easter weekend !

Dedication

Today I ask myself again….. How committed am I to God and His work ?

So much of our lives (and all we have is time) is spent “servicing” our bodies….. eating, dressing, bathing, sleeping, working (for most people)……  it seems to cost so much money (and time spent working for it) just to survive that for many of us, there is not much time or money left over for anything else ( a trip abroad or a hobby).

Clearly…. if we are to bear fruit for Jesus…. it is going to have to occur while we are caught in this “mill” of life… two areas to consider:

1. Your thought life…. what are you thinking about as you wash, cook ,clean, eat, bathe ?….. are you wasting your thought life with “circular” thinking (same things over and over again) ?…… Is your thought life filled with rubbish ?…. thinking a lot of nonsense ?…… your thought life (while you physically do other tasks) is important resource and could be used for God ? ….. at the very least, you need to get control of it and harness if for SOME useful purpose !

2.Your human interaction….. all day long we are interacting with people…. on the job, in the stores, supermarkets, banks, telephone or internet…. most are not our friends….. many we dont even know….. how do we interact with them ?….. could this be used by God for His purpose ?

Offer your thoughts and your words to God today and ask Him to guide you by His Holy Spirit to think and speak for Him….. you do NOT have to be a missionary in a far-away land to “bear fruit” for Jesus !

Bible verses to consider:

Proverbs 24:9  “The thought of foolishness is sin….”

Proverbs 12:5 “The thoughts of the righteous are right….”

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 “…. and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer”