9 January 2018
The truth about "suffering" in God’s Kingdom
Hearing about someone "suffering", we might feel a little sympathy and might even say a little prayer, or we can judge them and give our bit of input about why they are going through this. But mostly, seeing someone suffer, doesn't change the way you live your life. For the fire to bring about change, each one has to go through their own fiery season. Fire brings us face to face with ourselves and with God.
I have learned that suffering is essential in God’s Kingdom. None of us chooses suffering – but today I know that "suffering" has changed my life!
Suffering has many faces. Paul wrote, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor 4:8-9)
Paul listed several types of suffering – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.
When I read the book of Acts, I see so many kinds of sufferings. Stephen was allowed to die, Jeremiah suffered mental issues and the church was scattered. But, in and through all of this, the church leaped forward in their mission to spread the gospel. The pain birthed, carried and spread the gospel. We all will be refined by fire just as the early church was. So, either you are in a season of suffering, or you have suffered, or one day you will experience suffering. Prepare yourself and embrace it for the good that will come from it.
None of our sufferings are random or without purpose. In the fire you are always confronted with your emotional wounds. A wound that is neglected or ignored will also bring a lot of suffering.
When we've passed through our own fiery trials and pain and found God to be true to what He says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" – only then my friend, can we be a real help to others.
One of the greater gifts is "Abba Father’s sustaining grace" in my life. His grace kept and carried us through pain; reshaping and transforming us more and more into His image and likeness.
Acts 14:22 "through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God"
The Glory of God cannot be seen without death – a dying to self. But, just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn't mean that our sufferings are random and without purpose. Or even as some believe – God’s revenge on and anger towards us.
I have found that suffering is nothing but a battleground. Where there is suffering, there is a battle for our souls. The book of Job shows us that there can be two ways to respond to suffering.
One - You can curse God because of the suffering.
Two - You can praise God in the midst of the suffering.
We should trust God for wisdom and to navigate us through whatever we are going through. It is a spiritual battle and needs to be fought in the spirit.
Our Abba is asking us: “Are you willing to let your life speak loudly, testifying on how you live in sufferings and how you die in sufferings?"
We all try to avoid suffering at all cost. But suffering prepares us for more Glory.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 "This light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not at the things that are seen but to the things unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
My dear friend, this is Satan’s world. He rules it, and that is why suffering is part of this world. None of us will be completely without suffering – it doesn't matter how much deliverance you have gone through.
I know there are people that think you are evil when you are constantly facing trials and fire. But, what I have learned through much trials and pain in the past 14 years – with a severe head injured child -– is this,
We all are broken – and we all need healing
God will always comfort us
He is always here
He strengthens us
He doesn't abandon us
He will carry us through
He teaches us through His wisdom and first-hand experience.
He kisses us with revelation
And He will always wipe away our tears.
He is busy bringing about a great transformation in us. Everything is not about the best outcome in the flesh – but the best outcome in the spirit. That is called "transformation into His likeness".
Abraham was tested when he was called to sacrifice Isaac.
Job was tested through suffering.
Paul was tested every day with his thorn in his flesh.
And they were all transformed!
So are we also challenged today, to pick up our cross and follow Christ Jesus.
Abba Father is preparing us for eternal life. Don't run away – lift your head and face the world. It doesn't matter what they say or think about you. It is your battle to overcome with God.
This is a new year and I want to bless you my dear friend, with the abundant grace of our Abba Father. You are secure in His grace. Run the race of faith – and face the battle with God.
Love to you.
Retah and family