1 Peter 4:16 (KJV).
Suffering! Our world is not without a shortage of this undue phenomenon. Everywhere we turn we can glaringly see or find suffering happening.
It is either that people are being taken advantage of, sold out to slavery, trafficked out to some evil activity, stolen from, murdered, victimized, etc. These kinds of evil perpetrated against humanity by human beings themselves can never be fully understood unless we begin to bring ourselves to understand deep spiritual truths.
Unfortunately, the people these acts are done against go through so much trauma and suffering. Nevertheless, it is important to know that every human being on the face of the earth is not exempt from suffering one way or another. This is because we live in a fallen world, where sin is rampant.
Sin, we must not forget came as a result of man breaking covenant with God, disobeying, and going contrary to the commandments of God way back in the Garden of Eden. Hence, man was completely sold out to the devil, who is the perpetrator of the sufferings we see happening in our world.
Also, because of man’s disobedience, the curse was put in motion. Hence sin strengthens the curse, and with the curse comes untold suffering and hardship.
The above is a brief synopsis of why suffering happens in our world. However, our Bible gives us hope that the suffering brought about by sin and the curse has been dealt with. Jesus dealt with it on the cross by the reason of His sacrifice, death, and resurrection.
Therefore, if we are in Christ we have been delivered from the power of darkness because Jesus took upon Himself every sin and curse of the law on our behalf.
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Galatians 3: 13 (KJV)
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1: 13-14 (KJV).
However, for us to benefit from what Jesus did, we must be in Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Now another question that may arise on this topic of suffering is, why do Christians suffer while even trying to righteously live out their faith? We may not fully know all the answers to this question; however, the following are a few reasons.
The number one reason is Ignorance. In the sense that a lot of us are very zealous, but have not taken the time to sit with the Holy Spirit, study the word and find out for ourselves what God is telling us regarding specific situations in our lives.
Yes, Jesus has finished the work on the cross, but there may be certain things we may have to work out ourselves based on what Jesus did for us on the cross. For example, we may need to cut off every unrighteous association. There is this grace narrative going around, that grace covers us in all things even when we are walking contrary to the will of God.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6: 1-2 (KJV).
Secondly, the lack of knowledge. This ties in very well with ignorance.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4: 6 (KJV).
We refuse to study the word of God to show ourselves approved in the ways we must decipher and apply the word for each situation or circumstance we find ourselves in. 2Timothy 2:15. We always want to apply old tactics or strategies to solve new problems.
A lot of the time it doesn’t work that way. A good example to follow is King David. He always consulted God for fresh insight on every issue. Also, our Lord Jesus did not use the same strategy every time He healed. He worked based on the auction and leading of the Holy Spirit for every situation. It is not a one size fits all business.
Thirdly, being presumptuous. This is an attitude of overreaching our limits thinking we are doing the right thing not knowing we have missed the mark. A lot of the time we always hear this phrase, “God will understand,” after all we have done more than is expected. This is a state of self-deception and self-righteousness.
A good example is King Saul and the case of the Amalekites in 2 Samuel 15. Saul disobeyed God, but still thought he was doing God a favor through his unwarranted kind gesture.
Fourthly, unconfessed sin, or deeper still bloodline iniquities. Suffering could be due to unconfessed sin, or some ancestral bloodline iniquity whether known, or unknown.
Most times the devil accuses us before God because we may have opened a door to allow him to accuse us before God. This opening could be through our words, thoughts, or actions. Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 5:25.
Lastly, discouragement, and the test of faith. The enemy may throw in our way obstacles or stumbling blocks to discourage us from walking faithfully with God. This may also be a test of our faith for which the enemy wants to see if we will buckle under pressure.
This last situation may necessarily not be a fault of ours, but that the enemy sees us as a threat once we begin to walk in the destiny, and purpose God has for our lives.
In this case, the enemy feels very threatened because he knows that when we understand our true destiny and purpose in God, his kingdom will be under tremendous assault through the damages we will wreck.
This is where our Bible verse for today — 1 Peter 4:16 comes in. We are encouraged here to stand our ground when the enemy tries to discourage us from walking God’s purposes for our lives. Rather, we are encouraged to use such a situation as a point for worship, and thanksgiving to the Glory of God.
This strategy disarms the devil and propels us higher to achieve what God has for us. For God is so faithful and will not leave us alone to suffer unduly when we look to Him for the solution and strategies for every situation.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (KJV).
When we see suffering as a place to come into a higher understanding of God’s Glory and Power, we will always look to God for the strategies to overcome every troubling situation so that we can experience more of who God is.
Ebimobo W. Obasi
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
A Prayer to Endure Suffering.
FATHER GOD, when I experience suffering, I have the opportunity to glorify You with my words and actions. Help me to recognize the grace You give to help me through my circumstances. In all situations, allow me to remember that You are faithful to those who follow You and that You always come through to deliver and rescue. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.