Good Morning Friends
Today we will continue with our lesson in our series of "Forgetting What Is Behind". Today we will start a new lesson called "Pain and Suffering". Thank you for joining me and let me know your thoughts about this blog. you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email off of our website www.reachingthebroken.org Lets get started:
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10
The world understands that life includes the process of birth, death, pain and suffering. It is a part of being human and we accept it as being a part of the cycle of life. But, we have all questioned and asked “why” do so many seemingly suffer without cause and where is God in the midst of all this pain and suffering?
If we are to bring some understanding to this question, we need to try and get a better picture of how God looks at pain and suffering. In Philippians 3:10, we see Paul embracing pain and suffering, (sharing in) letting it work for his good through the power of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, he is being transformed into the image of Christ.
Paul’s desire to become like Christ is his life goal while he is on earth, with the promise of being with His Lord in Heaven after death. For him it is a win- win situation. For Paul, as it should be for us, “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Philippians 1:21. If you are to become like me (Christ) there will be pain and suffering. But don’t be discouraged for “I will be with you always”. Matthew 28:20 This is the hope and promise given, that we will not walk this walk alone but with the Lord Jesus right by our side.
We don’t have a “right” to be free from pain and suffering
Most of us think that if God is a loving God, then why does He let us suffer and be in pain? This is really a distorted view of who God really is and how he views pain and suffering. Scripture says we can expect difficulties, testing and suffering. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
We may go through suffering but because we have the power of God working in us He is more than “able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20. None of us are entitled to have “all that we want any time we want it”. And what we have should be received with a grateful heart not a grumbling heart.
All things come from God and go back to God. We have what we have only because of the blessings of God. Things that come into our life may include pain and suffering but remember, we have a choice as to how we look at our problems and circumstances, such as; “do I complain about it” or do “I change for the good” because of it.
Ultimately, we have no right to complain as blessings are gifts from God and should cause us to have a thankful heart instead of a complaining one. God owes us nothing. “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.” Job 41:11 Also, “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:35
Scripture tells us we are to expect Suffering
* God does not always take trouble away….God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
* He is with us when we pass through the waters….When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
* God comforts us in our troubles…..God does not always take our trouble away and He does not always help us get out of trouble; he helps us in trouble. God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
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. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4`
* Turn to God don’t rely on ourselves…We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Paul says, "As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles (hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;... dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything" (2 Cor. 6:4-10).
In 2 Cor. chapter 12 he tells us that he was given "a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me". Three times he asked God to take it away, and God refused, saying "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". Paul also adds, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For strong" (12:7-10).
We will stop here for today and continue on with this topic next week. Have a great day everyone and thank you for joining me today. Be blessed!