Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Suffering series: Introduction

 

The Reality of suffering 

“Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward.”  That is a true statement made to Job by one of his false comforters.  Certainly it is a truth of which we are all aware.  Though I rejoice at the birth of  babies; I also grieve for them as I think of a lifetime of trouble that awaits them. 

Suffering of believers and unbelievers is a fact of life in this present sin-cursed world. Listen to Paul in Romans 8:22-23  “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our bodies.”  Would you notice here that the Christian’s body is still as much under the curse of sin as the unbeliever’s body?  Our souls are redeemed.  We are bound for Heaven,  but while we live on this earth, we continue to experience the curse of sin in our bodies. 

 

Reasons for suffering 

Sometime we suffer for wrong doing.  Take it patiently and learn from it. However, sometimes we suffer for doing right. Peter writes of this in I Peter. 2:20-23 “For what glory is it, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently?  But if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow His steps; Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Who, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judgeth righteously.”  

 

Our Response to suffering 

Listen to the godly response of the Psalmist to affliction and agree with him.  “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word.  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.”  Psalm 119:67,71 

 

The Rewards of suffering 

As we saw in the last verse,  suffering can draw us to Christ and His Word. That is what sanctification is all about.  Listen with your heart to I Peter 5:10  “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal  glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strength, settle you.”  Dear suffering Christian, are you beginning to see the blessing of suffering? 

Another reward that comes to those who suffer for their stand for Christ is that in the future we will reign with Him.  II Timothy 2:12  “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” 

 

The Relief from suffering  There is coming a day when we are going to be released from these sin-cursed  bodies.  Read II Corinthians 5:1-8 addressed to Christians and let me summarize  it for you.  We know that when we die, our souls immediately go to Heaven to be with Jesus.   Our bodies eventually turn to dust. In the meantime we groan with pain at times in these bodies and we long to be with Jesus.  It’s not that we are anxious to die.  No one in his right mind looks forward to dying, but our assurance of Christ’s resurrection gives us confidence to face death, knowing that to be absent from our bodies is to immediately be in the presence of Jesus. 

If you do not yet have that blessed assurance of Heaven when you die,  I urge you to read the rest of II Corinthians 5 and discover how simple it is to trust Christ and have that assurance today.

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May 10, 2006 - Posted by | Suffering

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