From the Pastor’s heart                                                Suffering

 

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Suffering it seems is an integral part of life that cannot be escaped by anyone, even babies in the womb. Life seems so unfair and difficult to say the least. No one asked for this life but have been found in it only to suffer. The concept of suffering is a difficult one to understand. Is there any justification for it? It seems there is. If a person believes in God, that person is more or less going to end up wondering why God does not do something about suffering. The answer to this question is, understanding God. The God concept in human reasoning is an enigma to many. One the one hand, people want God and on the other, they question Him, hate Him, abuse Him and use Him. In the process of these attitudes and behaviour, they face suffering.

 

God is self existent and all powerful and holy. This makes Him God. One cannot escape the sovereignty and severity of God by trying to demand an explanation to His actions. Rom 11:22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. The sovereignty of God is inescapable which brings a person to their knees. It does not matter if you are a Christian or not, the rules still apply. Many Christians have found that they have had to humble themselves through immense suffering to come that place of mercy and forgiveness by God because they had not understood the immovability of His sovereignty. They have tried to get an explanation out of God but to no avail. Once that idea that God is sovereign and that He can do what He likes, when He likes and whichever way He likes is established in a person’s thinking, then, one can move forward and progress in life. There are answers to be had, yet, only the meek and humble and obedient will find true solace and peace. When we have understood that God does not hide Himself from human suffering, we will get a better picture of the need for suffering. The verse at the start gives us a clue about this, when God sent His own Son to suffer death and other unimaginable things on our behalf and for His glory. God is not unrighteous to allow suffering to take place without a reason and He is not without love or compassion to do something about it. When we understand what Jesus achieved on the cross, we will understand His wisdom.

 

It is my firm belief that when God created, at whatever time He created, there were impossible scenarios taking place in the atmosphere around Him that He would have to manage and make good on. For example, when He created the angels, He knew that some of them would rebel against Him and cause a huge problem for the rest of His creation. Yet, He created them. If He did that, then He also had a solution for that situation. Many may think that God is not in control of life but He is very much in control of everything. It is His deity that causes the problems for His creation. Since He is self existent, all of His creation has a time span and is fallible. Even though He creates things perfect, they can fail because of that fallibility of the lack of His own DNA in His creation. His fingerprints are seen all over creation but not His DNA. This is the clue we have been seeking, which is revealed in Jesus. Who Jesus is then become extremely important. As the Son of God and the Son of Man, He becomes the focal point of it all.

 

Now, God is begetting sons and daughters and not creating them. In that, there is a huge difference in what He is doing these days through new birth. By “these days” I mean since the coming of Jesus. Through Jesus, we are becoming sons and daughters of God. So, in order to create a people with His DNA He had to come Himself as a man in the flesh and suffer what we suffer because of sin. Mind you, He had made us perfect in the Garden of Eden only to lose us to the fallibility of flesh through sin. Now, in Jesus and through Jesus, God has dealt with sin and death and the devil forever. So, anybody who is born of God cannot sin. 1Jn 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1Jn 3:10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. There is so much we can learn through the word that will help us come to the understanding of God and His ways and what He has achieved in regenerating us in His likeness. So, why do we suffer and how does that suffering come? I am presenting to you four reasons why suffering comes. 1. Suffering comes because one is a Christian. 2. It comes because of sinning. 3. It comes because of making mistakes. 4. It comes because of the legal and illegal attacks of the enemy.

Christianity is considered a threat to the human race because it convicts others of sin. The devil also hates Christians because they have taken his position before God. Those who do not believe in Jesus, persecute Christians even unknowingly and unwittingly. Joh 15:20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. oh 5:16And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. From these verses, we can glean that persecution simply because of our faith is a reality and persecution because of religiosity is also a reality. It is the Christ life in us that is under attack because Christ is in us. History has proved these attacks by men against men so many times, in so many countries around the world, right through the centuries.

When a person sins, they suffer. Joh 5:14Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. After healing the man at the Pool of Bethesda, where this man lay for 38 years in an immovable condition, Jesus tells him not to sin anymore. Obviously, he had suffered tremendously because of sin. Many Christians suffer because of sin in their lives. The blessings of God are blocked and they cannot seem to understand why. Yet, they will not look into the mirror of the word and listen to the convictions of the Holy Spirit to change.

 

Many suffer in this life time because of their mistakes and other people’s mistakes. Mistakes come when people do not listen to wise counsel, take wrong decisions and do something that they should not, yet, they do it unwittingly even innocently at times. For example; someone steps out onto the road and does not look properly and stumbles and falls and hurt themselves. That creates complications and many problems arise that cause suffering. Not only is health depleted, wealth and well being, relationships etc. or all affected. Others, marry the wrong person. Make bad business decisions. Character failings like anger and jealousy often create mistakes and so people suffer. Friendships are broken or fights are started or something else happens that cause emotional and physical grief. The devil on the other hand, attacks people to cause suffering in their lives. He uses every weapon he has to cause wars, famine, and pestilence, division amongst families, dissension and rebellion in children, brings diseases and sicknesses on people divide and tempt children of God and so many other ways that he uses to destroy people or cause them to suffer. Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Even after people have come to Christ, he uses every method both legally through sin and illegally through other methods to cause suffering because they are still on earth and in the flesh. He enters homes insidiously through objects and curios etc. to implant his demons who then cause suffering. He tempts people to sin and do things they would not normally do. He attacks the mind and tells lies and causes people to live in the past and in un-forgiveness. So many have suffered over words spoken that have then gone on to cause suffering in many areas of their lives because he twisted the words and caused them to receive hurt. He uses witchcraft and other open attacks to cause suffering among Christians who do not know their rights and authority.

 

All these forms of suffering are often blamed on God as one believes He should be fixing these problems up. However, He has given us free will and a sound mind to decide what to do with life. When one does not want to obey the commands of God for their own good, He give them up to their ways. Rom 1:24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

 

My friends, let us come to that place of understanding. God is not unrighteous. He does all things according to His own will and purpose. Let us humble ourselves and come to the place where we accept life for what it is and then change it by the word and Spirit of God for our benefit and His glory. We will not always understand His ways like; why did Jesus have to be crucified?           Yet, we must persevere in the knowledge and understanding that God gives us. He has given us everything pertaining to life and Godliness. It is up to us to receive it.

 

Lots of love     

Pastor Noble