(What a shocker)
Isaiah 53:4-5; Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. he was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!
Why do some people tend to think that becoming a Christian exempts them from any kind of suffering? Why do we possibly think that if we go through suffering that we must not be very close to the Lord...or that God is punishing us for some sin? Could it be that when we read the scriptures that talk about suffering, we think that its for those in the Bible and that it doesnít apply to us. That it's not for today. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13; If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But rememer that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you canít stand up against it. When (notice it says when) you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.( The King James Version says that he will ďwithĒ that temtation ďalsoĒ make a way of escape.)
Have you ever tried to minister to someone and ended up hurting their feelings instead? I have, and I went around with a superior attitude about the whole thing until I began to realize that I really did not understand where this person was coming from until I went through some things and had others treat me with that same superior attitude. What a humbling scenario that was.
When we go through these things it is easy to think that we are far from the Lord in our relationship, that if we go through something that feels like it is ripping us apart from the inside out, that we aren't much of a Christian. Well, that is wrong thinking. Jesus suffered and so will we.
We have a wonderful Savior who gave his life on our behalf, who is offering to us a haven of rest. Trouble is - we find it very hard to let go of our very rigid hold on the control panel of our - so called - "life". So sad, Iíd like to kick myself for the years months, days, hours and moments Iíve wasted because I was too stubborn to let go and let God take control.
"Oh, but God you donít know my situation." That is a statment that a man made to me when I told him that there was nothing too difficult for God. No, I didnít know His situation at the time, but that was the word that the Lord gave to me to tell Him. And eventually God did turn things around and used his situation for the betterment of him and his family. If I had known what his situation was, it is possible that I would have looked in horror on what was happening and stood by with the ones that did know what was going on and thought it to be a hopeless situation. But I didnít know and I acted on what the Lord instructed me to do.
The scriptures tell us in Hebrews 2:14-17a; Because God's children are human beings--made of flesh and blood--Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. We all know that Jesus came to help the descendants of Abraham, not to help the angels. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God...
Jesus, having suffered in the flesh, was made into a faithful High Priest who is merciful, He knows and understands what we go through. There is no temptation known to us that Jesus hasn't already experienced, but He did more than just experience the temptation - He overcame them and then took and nailed them to the cross so that through His suffering we can have peace with God. Without Jesus as our Savior our sin separates us from God. He is holy, and sin and holiness cannot live together.
As with the man I mentioned before...the word I gave that man didn't change his situation immediately, but it made him stop and think. He was ready to throw in the towel so to speak, but once he stopped to think on that word, God began to remind him of so much more that he had to be thankful for and the Lord was able to turn his thinking around so that forgiveness and healing could take place.
When we go through suffering, and as the Lord ministers and helps us through He wants us to see and hear from His heart. It could be that soon you will meet with someone who is suffering and you will be able to see, understand, and minister in a way that brings life to another. You will do it with mercy, knowing and understanding that through your experiences God can make use of their situation also and develop His character in them while He is at it.
James 1:12; God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. And afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
O Lord I pray today that I will have ears to hear and will not close them when I hear You speak to me of Your plans that are perfect. I pray for those who read this, that they will know of Your love for them that through whatever situation that You are there upholding them. I pray that they will be comforted by You O Lord and that their countenace will shine as You have made mine to shine. I love You Lord my strength and my help in times of trouble.
In His Love
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Hope you were encouraged.