We Will Suffer

"The truth is, suffering is a normal part of life. Unlike what we hear on TV, following God doesn’t make all of our problems go away. The Bible tells us it’s quite the opposite." -Chip Ingram

Everyone wants to be happy and comfortable. Most people's goal in life is to achieve success, make money, and enjoy their life. Most people's focus is mostly on themselves and doing what is best for them, what makes them happy. Health, wealth and success is what we all want, right?

Well, I've learned that as Christians, that may not necessarily be what God wants us to strive for.

I used to think that my great life, my nice house and car, and my husband were "rewards" for living my life for God, but now I realize the error of my thinking. I now realize that God doesn't want us to be comfortable and complacent. I believe that He wants us to grow as a person and grow in our faith. He wants to bring us closer to Him. He wants our faith in Him to deepen. He wants our dependence on Him to grow. And often the only way that those things can be achieved is through trials and tribulations, not the easy, happy times!

It's not always going to be comfortable and easy living in the will of God, denying yourself to follow Him, doing what He calls you to do. Sometimes God will allow us to be broken, sometimes He will challenge us, sometimes He will allow suffering, in order for us to become the person He wants us to be. We may have to go through hard times here on earth, Jesus told us that. But no one likes to hear that. People would rather hear that Jesus will take away all of their problems and give them everything that they ask for.

No one likes to hear that they may suffer, no one likes to hear that our life as a Christians is not just about being happy and comfortable. But Jesus himself never promised a life of health and prosperity for His followers! He talks more about how we will suffer and tells us to take up our cross(die to ourselves) daily, and not to accumulate material possessions here on earth. He told us that our reward is in Heaven, NOT on this earth.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven..."Matthew 6:19 
Jesus didn't promise us an easy life, but there are a few things He did promise us: He promised to be with us always; He promised us joy and peace in Him; He promised us rest. And in Romans, Paul tells us that God will work all things together for our good.

It's not wrong to be happy and to enjoy what God has given us, but we just have to be careful of getting too comfortable, becoming complacent, and finding happiness in our "things" more than in Him. And we can still be happy and joyful even when going through hard times. We are told to be thankful in all circumstances. In ALL circumstances! That means in the good times and the bad times, whether we have a little or a lot, when we are healthy and when we are sick.
God may bless us with health and prosperity, and if he does, it is to be used for HIS glory and to serve others, NOT to accumulate more and more for ourselves. Life is not all about us. It's about finding pleasure and satisfaction in Him and Him alone. That is what we gain through a relationship in Christ. THAT is our reward.

So, ultimately, suffering—whether it be in sickness, poverty, or other worldly trials—can be of much more value in this earthly life than perfect health, great wealth, or any other treasures this temporal world may offer. When viewed from this perspective, we see opportunities in the sufferings we face—opportunities to be more fully united with God. -Jim Blackburn

Comments

  1. Lindsay, great post, refiners fire is a fearful but realistic part of the Christian life. to think we are exempt from suffering would be a big mistake, Christ Himself endured the worst tribulation imaginable.

    …32"Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

    John 16:33

    Further, suffering allows for many virtues that we couldn't and wouldn't have otherwise; patience, bravery, charity, forgiveness etc... I believe Augustine says as much when dealing with Theodicy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true and beautifully said. Thank you for commenting!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Words I Never Thought I'd Hear

One Day at a Time

Weekend Recap & MRI Results