Suffering: The Reality, Purpose and Promise

“When God allows suffering and trials in our lives, sometimes it’s for us to unlearn something and simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is like that of a child.”  – Oswald Chambers – 

It’s not that we should desire to suffer or go through trials, but we do need to accept this truth of what Scripture teaches. As God’s people, we must be prepared to suffer, because suffering is certain.  

–          “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…”  (Psalm 34:19)  

–          “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)  

–          “and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s co-worker in the gospel of Christ, to   establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions.  For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.” (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3) 

–          “For to this (suffering) you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you…” (1 Peter 2:21)   

–          “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.” (1 Peter 4:12) 

However, equally certain to suffering, is not only God’s sustaining grace through it, but also His Divine purpose in it. One purpose according to Chambers is that we simplify our beliefs. We should never outgrow our dependence on God, and often, trials are to ensure that we don’t. One of the biggest mistakes we make as Christians when encountering an unbelieving world is to not be prepared to answer why a loving God would allow His people to suffer. Sometimes, the best answer comes when they see you, His child, display that grace in your deepest time of need. Trust that God’s grace is always sufficient, His purposes always right, and that He will be with you each step of the way. You can, because He keeps all His promises.    

–          “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

–          “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 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 5:3-5) 

–          “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

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