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SUFFERING

Reflections by Elder Lina Reyes.

Does God hate me? Why is He allowing me to suffer like this? Why me and not others? These are old questions, as old as Job of the Old Testament. Job 10:2,3.

We long for answers to the immense problem of suffering. Why do bad things happen to good people? The answers often seem to be elusive, hidden and out of reach.

As we search the Bible we understand that our God allows pains & suffering for the following reasons:

  1. To alert us in the problem of sin.
  2. To direct us to respond to Him in faith & hope.
  3. To shape us to be more like Christ.
  4. To unite us so that we will help each other

Sufferings and pains, we must also understand is God’s principle of disciplining us, we would expect a loving Father to correct us and call us to renew our obedience to Him. Hebrew 12:5-7 says: “My son,  do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him, for whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son He receives. Furthermore, we have human father who corrected us and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be subjection to the Father of spirit and live?”

In coping with the problem of suffering is to recognize its roots in the universal problem of sin. Let’s recognize how much Jesus suffered on the cross to free us from the penalty of sin and His free gift of forgiveness. In John 3:16 is the greatest evidence of God’s love for us that He sent His son to die and agonize for us. Because of Jesus, we remain in God and God remains in us.

Right now, I’m in pain. I’m hurting because of a friend who went astray. I’m trying to help by giving pieces of advice but it seems risky. I might say the wrong things. Feeling my inadequacy, I surrendered everything to God and embraced my friend in my prayer. Let go and let God.

In my heart, I fully understand God is testing me before He gives me special assignments and additional authority. While things are not pleasant, I dare not resent Him. To be obedient to God is to yield to Him. To sacrifice even special friendship.

Sufferings call us to know God more and His ways. Isaiah 55:8,9. We are to take a different path and do what God asks us to do. Obedience to Him means being asked to do the unusual. He will test us whether we’ll go the distance. Difficult times might not be that easy for us, but after the fiery times our faith for God will “SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS.”

Sufferings are necessary part of a Christian’s journey to spiritual maturity. God is watching from a distance as we walk to our journey of faith. Always remember: “God is working behind the scenes”

PRAYER: “Lord , teach me to stand firm in my faith in you when my world is falling apart”, In Jesus name, Amen