Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Learning through Suffering

“I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech Thee, and I will speak: I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job 42:4-6

How often are people inclined to drag God into the dock because of the sad (self-inflicted) condition of the world. In most cases the prosecutor (the person casting blame) does not even believe in a Creator, nevertheless finds it correct and justified to criticize and insult someone whom they consider to be fictional! Most remarkable! It is certainly true that our sufferings in life fluctuates – not only for unbelievers, but also for believers. Actually, suffering in life is against God's will and nature. However, it is a condition that God uses to bring people into a correct mindset. To find God's love (voluntarily) sometimes requires drastic measures - not infrequently through suffering which is inflicted upon us, or is self-inflicted. Thus, it is not true that God inflicts suffering upon us, but He sometimes allows suffering because there is no other way. And, as it was in Job's case, in the Bible, we also don't immediately understand the reasons why things happen the way they do and what it is all about. God hasn't made Himself comfortable in heaven, having a good time, whilst people on earth are suffering. But, it happened as we read in Hebrews 4:14-16 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” And when we know and understand the Bible, then we also know how severely Jesus suffered for us. He was tortured, spat on, humiliated, despised, innocently accused by false witnesses and finally horrifically executed. Jesus was God in human form – He could have done something about it, but He didn't! To what extent He humbled Himself, and thereby revealed how serious He was, and still is, that people should through suffering (and also His suffering) recognize that they need salvation and forgiveness of their sins?!

God doesn't make people suffer for the sake of suffering, but He wants to draw our attention to Jesus, who gives all suffering a deep purpose, through His own substitutionary death on the cross and the reconciliation with Him. We read this in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Man simply does not have a good core – it is a lie. He is fallen, ruined, lives in a satanic rebellion against God (allows himself to be an instrument of the devil), and causes the suffering in the world and his own suffering, to be an instrument of his stubborn unbelief. And if we are Christians, then it is our sacred duty, not to sing in this choir of accusation (also not secretly), but to accept our own suffering, in all humility and trust in God, and nonetheless to be grateful and to place our hope in that which is written in 2 Timothy 1:7-10 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” God is not far from us, but always very near. And in all suffering, the Sovereign God and the sure Anchor of our souls (Acts 17:26-27). Everything that happens, must pass by God first. And last but not least, suffering helps us (like Job) to perceive the eternal and indeed wonderful God as He is. Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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