Friday, December 19, 2008

The Three Supreme Testings - Suffering

The final test..... Let’s explore suffering and see if we pass.

What Dr. C.I. Scofield said concerning this subject is many fail under testing and suffering.

I would take this to mean the trails we go through and the pain we suffer. Many fail under what I believe is lack of understanding of the purpose of trials. We only see the pain and want out of it. We often fall prey to the thinking, "if God is loving, He would not allow us to suffer". God is loving but it is in the suffering that we are purified and perfected. Like gold, it is through fire that impurities are burned out and you have a pure product. God’s goal is to purify us so we can become holy and be with Him.

Sometimes we even wonder "Is God really there?" The pain seems to blur our eyes so we can't see God. We think that He should keep us from pain, and when He doesn't we blame Him. Blame leads to anger; anger leads us to pull away. We pull away instead of doing what we really need which to draw near.

Our God is a God of deliverance but He gets to choose the method we are delivered. When we do pray for deliverance from a trial there are three ways that God may answer. First, He may deliver us from our trial so it just goes away. In this instance we see miracles that are unexplainable. Second, He may deliver us through our trial where He walks through it with us. These are the ones we get purified from. Third, He may deliver us home into His arms. He takes us home where there is no more pain.

So what do we do so that we persevere instead of fail from our suffering? I think first we pour out our pain in tears. I don't believe we were meant to just suck it up and move on. There is something cleansing in our tears. They pour out our grief. Held in they can become bitter.

Then we pray. We cry out to God for deliverance. If God chooses for us to go through the pain then we begin to pray for strength, courage and His presence to be with us.

James 5:3 says - Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.

We also get to wrestle with God about our pain. We get to ask the questions "why?" and "why me?" He even allows us to be angry and tell Him about it. He's pretty tough, He can take it. His compassion is abounding. Just like we hate to see our children in pain, He hates to see us in pain.

Have you ever taken your child to the doctor to receive their shots and had to hold them down to do it? That child is looking at you with questions in their eyes, "why mommy?" But we know more than they do, we know that it must be done and it is for there own good. This is how I believe God feels as we go through our pain, He wants to change it but can't because it’s for our own good.

Our pain also exposes everything we trust in besides God. Do we trust in ourselves, our money, maybe our parents? Sometimes our pain is what drives us to finally turn our trust to God. In the easy times, we too often turn our trust to other things beside God. Our suffering doesn't necessarily mean we are doing something wrong. Sometimes it’s just a product of living in a fallen world.

John 9:2-3 - And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him."

I Peter 4:12-13 - Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

The end result that God wants to take us to is joy. Through our suffering, His glory is revealed if we allow it and in the end when we are done, joy comes.

3 comments:

Lawrence said...

Hi. I found you on Blog Catalog and I really enjoy your writings. Keep it up.

Lori said...

Great post..."God is loving but it is in the suffering that we are purified and perfected. Like gold, it is through fire that impurities are burned out and you have a pure product. God’s goal is to purify us so we can become holy and be with Him."...spoken (or written) so well Sherri! Blessings to you!

Ben said...

Today's sufferings will teach us tomorrow that "if God could take me through that, he can most certainly take me through this too". Blessed is the man who endures till the end.