What has God accomplished through suffering & why do we care?

We should care because it WILL GIVE US HOPE IN A FALLEN AND HARD WORLD.

God used the most extreme suffering to save the world.  Jesus Christ.

He used the suffering of Joseph to save a country of people who didn’t worship Him.

He used the suffering of Naomi to extend a family’s lineage and pave the way for Jesus.

He used the suffering of God’s people to hold them off until the appropriate time.

He used Job’s suffering to demonstrate He knows more than Satan and to display to the world that God restores the broken.

He used the suffering caused by the kings of Israel to demonstrate His purposes cannot be thwarted.

He used the suffering of Daniel to demonstrate His ability to protect and His power.

He used a whale to demonstrate His power in correcting our direction.

For the moment let’s not question why we suffer.  Let’s accept that we will.  Arguing with God at this point will not give us hope when trials come.  In fact, it could make everything worse.

Remember Christ promised that we would suffer as He did.

1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps”

If we didn’t suffer then Jesus would have lied to us.  We know His Word is true.  We still don’t know why suffering exists in the world and may still be prone to get angry with God about it, but for now let’s understand we were promised suffering and that promise has come true.

HOPE

In times of suffering we need hope.  It’s essential to survival.  If we lose hope we may fall into depression, or become suicidal.  If we understand what God can accomplish through suffering then this can give us hope.  What hope would we have if God left us to suffer and did nothing to help us get through it.

In times of turmoil and anguish we should cry out to God.  Lord, I don’t understand why this is happening, but I know from your Word that you have accomplished many great things through the suffering of those You love.  Lord, give me the patience to get through this and help me trust that you are using this to accomplish something.  Lord, I would lose all hope if I thought that this was all for nothing.

If there is no God there is no hope.  If there is a God we have hope He is working on our behalf in ways that we have yet to understand.  Because we can’t see Him working doesn’t mean He isn’t.  History demonstrates His ability to do amazing things through the ups and downs of life.  If we grow faint we can look to the examples provided in God’s Word to remind us of what He can and does do.

Speaking of God’s Word.  This is why we should read it.  If we forsake God’s Word we forsake the very tool we need to maintain hope and the resources that will help us get out of bed every day and push forward.

Why do we care?

I care that Jesus suffered because my salvation is dependent upon it.

I care that Joseph suffered because it demonstrates that even when people treat us badly God doesn’t leave us, or forget us.  God provides and sustains us even when we are left for dead, become a slave to others, are convicted and are innocent, and are torn away from our family.

I care that God’s purpose can’t be thwarted by the death of a husband and that He sustains lineages because this demonstrates that even the most severe trials will not prevent God from working in my life.

I care that God can restore, that He pursues me when I go a different direction, and that He hears the cries of His children because it gives me hope that He will act in the same way in my life.

I care that Satan does not have the last word and that God knows more than he does.  If God were ignorant then how much help could he be?

I care that God can take care of His people despite how the rulers of the land behave and act.  If my life were held in the balance of rulers and world leaders I would have no hope for tomorrow, but my life is held in the hands of a loving and merciful God.

I care that God has the power to see our lives while we are in the furnace.  I am thankful that He can send angels and resources to save me from getting burned.

I care that God can send a whale to swallow me when I run the wrong direction.  I care because I often run from God and am thankful He pursues His children when they run from Him.

HOPE

In times of trouble may we trust a God who has demonstrated that He can accomplish things during times of suffering.  Faith is choosing to trust what we do not understand.  It’s relying on that which is unseen.  It’s saying though I do not understand I trust that you can accomplish something.  You will not leave me to suffer alone and you will not leave me to suffer meaninglessly.

It’s not getting angry.  It’s stating our dislike for the situation, but trusting that He will work the mess out.

Trust God.  It doesn’t make sense.  Trust Him anyway.  He will not let you down.  He has proven He gets stuff done.

Marcy Pedersen

 

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