It seems absurd! But when we know that God is in the trial with us, we can actually rejoice in our sufferings.
3b …we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3b~5)
This article is another part of a series I began after reading a comment from a very concerned man who asked some very pointed questions. This article is another part of my reply.
The paragraph below is a part of his comment:
“Why will God allow most people to submit to Satan’s rule, and why does God allow life to be so miserable for anybody who truly does try to submit to His rule? Why will God not cast out Satan?”
It’s easier to rejoice in our sufferings if we know that suffering has a purpose.
A Personal Anecdote:
Do you see my point?
I shared that true story because we have all been that “little boy” who knew nothing but his circumstances.
It makes no difference as to whether the pain is emotional, or mental, or physical. We just want the pain to STOP!!
But it’s easier to endure pain when we know that the purpose of our pain is to help us, and not to hurt us, and that our pain is not permanent.
Returning briefly to the book of Job:
Remember these encounters between God and Satan?
Note the underlined text:
From Job, Chapter 1:
8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8)
From Job, Chapter 2:
3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without reason.” (Job 2:3)
Do You See It? God Was Throwing Down A Challenge:
And the challenge continues to this very day!
Our part in this unfolding drama is to take on the challenge of learning to recognize Satan’s influence in our lives; to decide to live according to the examples in the Bible, and to help others to do the same.
A Few Examples To Live By:
From the Apostle Paul:
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7~10)
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16~17)
From the Apostle James:
Testing of Your Faith
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2~4)
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
From the Apostle Peter:
Suffering as a Christian
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:12~16)
LEARN TO SUFFER WELL!!
But The Day Of The Lord WILL Come:
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10)
The Defeat of Satan
7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7~10)
God demonstrates: “WHO’S THE MAN??”
NOW: SHOUT FOR JOY!!
Think of trials this way:
Every trial is an opportunity to give glory to God, brilliantly disguised as an IMPOSSIBLE situation!
It’s an opportunity to say, like Job: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
It’s an opportunity to say, like Job: “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”
It’s an opportunity to say, like Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”
It’s an opportunity to say, like Job: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
That’s how we can rejoice in our sufferings! Right?
You can’t always control your circumstances…
You can ALWAYS control your attitude!!