Is suffering a lost ministry in the church today?

Does God use suffering for our good? Is suffering a ministry? Is suffering a test ? In some cultures suffering is viewed as a curse or as a sign that God has forsaken you. Is this true? As a christians should we endure suffering?.

So many are the cases of people in the bible who had to go through some suffering before promotion. Take for example Joseph who had to endure years of suffering as God prepared him to lead and save many.

Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” Psalms‬ ‭105:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

🔹 We learn from the story of Joseph that he had to go through many trials because of the calling that was on his life.

🔹We also learn that God tested Joseph's character through that time of suffering.

Suffering also has to do with character pruning, so many gifted people lack character in the church today . Because they did not allow God to take them through a process of character pruning, which breaks every ounce of pride and self-will.

Even generally, one at times has to go through some failures until they get a pass.
Physically you have to train and sometimes it's uncomfortable but it has great benefits.

However when it comes to the things of God we all tend to think well it shouldn't be this hard. I'm totally guilty of complaining when things get hard and the Lord has been teaching me to learn to endure times of suffering and still be fruitful in those times.

This week l had a distressing encounter that almost threw me into a defensive mode and l was ready to literally lash out 🙈. I guess l had been hanging on for years doing good and being patient in this particular situation.

I was about to put matters in my own hands. Well thankfully 😅 the Holy Spirit stopped me.

And he whispered to me "suffering for doing good is a ministry in itself ". God sees, let the vengeance be His.🙏

So l was then lead to study on this very unpopular topic of suffering in the aspect of Christianity. Suffering is painful, it is distressing and very uncomfortable more so when you are having to endure undeservedly.

However God uses suffering to prune us, to refine us and to mould us. Moreover when we have endured we are able to help others, it is never really about us it is always about God and His purpose.

“Indeed, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested and chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” ISAIAH‬ ‭48:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

‭‭ “You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.” Psalms‬ ‭66:10-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 PETER 1:6-7 AMP

We recently went to give out some flyers as youth at a shopping centre, l tell you it was quiet the experience. The flyers had a stop ignoring God message and you can imagine the amount to despising we suffered. We did have some people who were welcoming but we also received a few verbal outburst that weren't too kind.

Now if you know me, you know that this was quite a challenge, 1️⃣I'm an introvert 2️⃣I am a lover at heart, and lets just say being rejected is not really my favourite things 😂

But l realised that they were not really rejecting me but God. Later on l actually thought to myself l am actually honoured to have been given a chance to suffer for the sake of God's kingdom.

When l look at the examples that we have had set before us, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour Himself suffered for our sake, Paul had to suffer, Stephen suffered, most of the disciples suffered for the sake of the gospel and we are saved because they obeyed and endured.

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while [by taking on the limitations of humanity], crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering of death, so that by the grace of God [extended to sinners] He might experience death for [the sins of] everyone.” HEBREWS‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭AMP‬‬
☝🏽🙌🏻🙏 Thank you Jesus .

“For it was fitting for God [that is, an act worthy of His divine nature] that He, for whose sake are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the author and founder of their salvation perfect through suffering[bringing to maturity the human experience necessary for Him to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest].” HEBREWS‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

I can't help but think what am l doing today? How willing am l to suffer so that others may hear the good news of salvation that has so set me free.

I'm not all for struggles believe me but l realise that some struggle is necessary for our growth, for us to stop being proud and selfish, to create in us a complete dependence on God. Pressing in is required. Determine to be fruitful even in your time of suffering. We are never alone, God will help us 👇🏾

"After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be].” 1 PETER‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

So l leant that God can use suffering to test us. However the testing of our faith produces endurance. Just because we are going through trials doesn't mean God is not with us. And most of the times we suffer as training, there are people waiting on you and me to share with them this good news of salvation.

🙏I pray that you find strength and encouragement through this.

Much love ❤️

Shalom

Hope never puts us to shame.

Hard times do come from time to time. Trying times and circumstances that test our trust and hope. When we lose hope in these situations we lose our joy, our faith, our strength, our love and we become sick in our hearts.👇🏾

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” PROVERBS‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Hope expresses a cherished desire, along with a confident assurance of obtaining that which is longed for.

Having hope in God, is a practical tool we can use in difficult situations. I for one get into all sorts of trials and l know God is strengthening me through them. And whenever l look back l see that God is faithful and he has never tested me beyond what l can bear.

And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].” ROMANS‬ ‭5:3-4‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Isn't this ☝🏽 just perfect 👌 . Whenever we hope in his promises of protection, deliverance, love, grace , mercy, the list goes on but our hope in God will never put us to shame.

Another promise of God we can hope in is written in Jeremiah 29: 11

“~‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.”

Therefore we hope in the plans God has for us, they will surely come to pass 🙏.

🔸 Indeed, none of those who [expectantly] wait for You will be ashamed; Those who turn away from what is right and deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed (humiliated, embarrassed).”
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭25:3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

🔸Kings will be your attendants, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth And lick the dust of your feet; And you shall know [with an understanding based on personal experience] that I am the LORD; For they shall not be put to shame who wait and hope expectantly for Me.” ISAIAH 49:23

🔸O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption.”PSALM‬ ‭130:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬ 🙌🏻

🙏 His eyes are on us when we hope confidently in His ability to do for us as he promised!

Abraham is another great example of unwavering hope and faith “In hope against hope Abraham believed that he would become a father of many nations, as he had been promised [by God]: “S O [numberless] SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”” ROMANS‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭AMP‬‬

The Holy Spirit will give us hope http://bible.com/1588/rom.15.13.amp and confidence in God's promises.

Benefits of hope

Joy – “🙌🏻constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength],” ROMANS‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭AMP‬

Boldness 👇🏾
“Since we have such a [glorious] hope and confident expectation, we speak with great courage,”. 2 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭3:12‬

Faith & Love –
for we have heard of your faith in Jesus [how you lean on Him with absolute confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness],
and of the [unselfish] love which you have for all the saints (God’s people); because of the [confident] hope [of experiencing that] which is reserved and waiting for you in heaven. You previously heard of this hope in the message of truth, the gospel [regarding
salvation]”. COLOSSIANS‬ ‭1:4-5‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Glory – “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2 KJV

All your hopes and efforts are not to waste, The eyes of the Lord are on you. Keep your eyes on Him and He will never put you and me to shame.

I hope you are strengthened in your Hope in God.

Much love 💕

Shalom

Activate the spiritual power of God within you..

It's amazing how rarely we grasp the fact that as children of God, His spirit lives in us.
"Do you not know and understand that you [the church] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]?” 1 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

I looked at myself in the mirror one day and repeatedly told myself that the Spirit of God dwells in me, and it was life changing. Why then was l being timid and moved around by my emotions and circumstances. God told me l often forget whose I am and who is with me.

Activate your spiritual power by constantly reminding yourself who is with you. God is with you His Spirit dwells in you that in it self is powerful!

There is power that is available to us who believe. The power of the Living God, ready and given to us who represent Him.

"and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength”
EPHESIANS 1:19 AMP

"The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
2 CORINTHIANS 10:4 AMP

The power of God in Us

1️⃣Enables us to cast out demons “and to have authority and power to cast out demons.” MARK‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭AMP‬‬

2️⃣Destroys strongholds We are
🔹destroying sophisticated arguments and 🔹every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and
🔹we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,
🔹being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete.”2CORINTHIANS‬ ‭10:5-6‬ ‭AMP‬‬

3️⃣ It strengthens us and energises us
May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality],”EPHESIANS 3:16 AMP

4️⃣It empowers us to live in victory
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.” EPHESIANS 6:10 AMP
5️⃣ It enables us to preach and spread the Gospel of God. Acts 1:8 👇🏾

I pray that you may get an understanding and a revelation as you are reading this. To grasp and to understand the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of God's power in us when we actively believe and have faith in Him.

Child of God you are powerful beyond measure, you are able to be who God called you to be..

I Hope you will join me in actively seeking out to live in the power available to us through Jesus Christ. For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. (1 TIMOTHY 4:8 AMP).

May God continue to strengthen you

I hope you are encouraged

Much love

Shalom

Peace is a language of God.


Have you ever been in a situation where you are looking for answers, you are wanting God to say something but it seems He is not responding to you in the way that you are used to?. When you are trying to make a big decision that has the capacity to alter your life forever. 

I have now learnt that peace is a language of God. In situations where you can't seem to hear the voice of God ask yourself how much at peace you are with making that next move?.

Peace or lack of it is a language of God.

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”     ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace at all times and in every way [that peace and spiritual well-being that comes to those who walk with Him, regardless of life’s circumstances]. The Lord be with you all.”  ‭‭2 THESSALONIANS‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“May the God of peace be with you all! Amen."    ROMANS‬ ‭15:33 AMP

Considering that God is a God of peace, our lack of peace in times of decision making or at any stage of our lives may indicate disagreement with God and his will for us.

In other instances it may show our lack of trust in God, in the form of worry and anxiety.

It's important for us to know that God wants us to have peace whatever the circumstances. It is never in God's will for us to be frustrated.

Here are some instances l have found myself lacking peace 

  • When God is communicating my need to do what he instructed. 
  • When I'm about to make a bad decision.
  • When trying to fix issues that only God can fix, hence I'm troubled.
  • When my trust and focus is not on God.

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” ‭‭PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭AMP‬‬

““For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, Nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.” ‭‭ISAIAH‬ ‭54:10‬ ‭AMP‬

This just hit home with me, 🙌🏻God has a covenant of peace with us which can never be shaken!

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”‭‭JOHN‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭AMP‬‬

☝🏽😢 Troubled hearts have no peace!.The amount of time l have wasted not claiming peace, allowing myself to be troubled. I'm angry at the devil for stealing my peace for all these years. I'm going to claim peace, pursue it and fight the devil with his schemes that steal my peace.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock.”   Isaiah‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How perfect is this it's a promise to us that when we fix our thoughts on God and Trust Him, He will give us peace.

Lastly l believe that knowing that we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ is important. God loves us and wants us to have peace, he is not happy when we are troubled. 

“Therefore, since we have been justified [that is, acquitted of sin, declared blameless before God] by faith, [let us grasp the fact that] we have peace with God [and the joy of reconciliation with Him] through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).”          ROMANS‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭AMP‬‬

I hope this encourages you to seek peace, For God is a God of peace. And whenever you lack peace pursue it. It's yours and mine.

Much love 

Shalom 

God’s name is God’s answer..

This week l have been studying on the Names of God. I realised that the Names of God reveal and help us to understand:

  1.  The character of God .
  2.  Our needs and our redemption 
  3. We get to know Him better and intimately hence we are able to praise God for who He is.
  4. We know the vast riches that are available to us as His children .                 

This is just what l learnt I’m sure there is so much more. How amazing is this though, to know that Jehovah- Jireh means he will provide, God sees before we even know what we need.
Moreover God actually named himself Jehovah-Rapha ( Exodus15:26). healing is what He is. Anytime we are in need of healing we can remind God of who He is..

In all our battles – God is Jehovah-Nissi our victory banner, he fights all our battles.

When we are distressed and disturbed- God is Jehovah-Shalom, The Lord our peace.

Whenever we feel alone, God is Jehovah-Shammah. He lives in us, he is in our hearts.

Whenever we feel we are lost we remember we have Jehovah-Raah The Lord our shepherd, he guides, feeds and protects.

☝🏽And God is  Jehovah El-Shaddai, forever cherishing us and loving us like no one else can 🙌🏻. I think God is amazing.

God is just and all the things He does are right, -Jehovah Tsidkenu the Lord our righteousness, he justifies us and makes us righteous through Jesus Christ.

I realised that knowing the names of God is a very  crucial step in having an intimate relationship with Him and experiencing  his goodness in all the areas of our lives. Many times His answer is in His Name.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs to it and is safe and set on high [far above evil].”PROVERBS‬ ‭18:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Whenever we are faced with a need, a problem, a battle, a situation, let us call unto the name of The Lord our God, our refuge.

I hope you are encouraged 

Much love 

Shalom 

The throne of grace 

The more l study on grace the more amazed l am at how much we are loved by God.  He has actually got us covered, there is no area of our lives that he is not able to help us with. In our weakness, insufficient, inabilities he grants us his amazing Grace. 

So that when we are unable we know God is able, when we are weak we know God is strong, when it’s at the end for us that is when He starts, all we have to do is to ask Him for His grace, which is always sufficient for us. How amazing is that!

Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”‭‭HEBREWS‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Yet grace [God’s undeserved favor] was given to each one of us [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and abundant] gift.”  ‭‭EPHESIANS‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. Hebrews 13:9

“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;”EPHESIANS‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭AMP‬‬

But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD and HAUGHTY, BUT [continually] GIVES [the gift of] GRACE TO THE HUMBLE [who turn away from self-righteousness].”‭‭JAMES‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” ‭‭2 PETER‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Whatever area you are serving God in, you are able to do it to perfection by his grace. God’s grace not only gave us salvation through Jesus Christ, it also gave us an enabling. It actually takes the pressure off us, all we have to do is avail ourselves and let God help us.

It is therefore important the prayer 🙏 we pray more often is a prayer for grace . That God’s grace may abound towards us. 

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.


There is so much on grace l still need to learn.

I hope you are encouraged 

May God’s grace be sufficient for you 

Love 

Shalom..

The matter of the heart..


Granted there are so many situations in life that live us bruised and wounded in our hearts. However to be able to live a joyful, free and pleasing life to God we must forgive. That means getting rid of all the offence , bitterness and resentment which are not only poisonous to our lives but they hinder our relationship with God.

The heart,  as l have now realised is so important to God, 1Samuel 16:7 as clearly says that God is more interested in what goes on in your heart..

Offence in our hearts prevents us from hearing from God and going deeper in our relationship with Him.

 I can testify that in those times when l have been angry and offended my heart became hardened, l was not able to hear what God was saying to me about the situation. We have to fight for our relationship with God by preserving our hearts.

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” ‭‭PROVERBS‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭AMP‬‬

     Here is why we need to guard our hearts and refuse to be offended. It is with the heart we:

  • Believe –For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous–being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.”‭‭ROMANS‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬
  • Trust – Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.”PROVERBS‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭AMP‬‬
  • Love -Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37 NIV
  • Find God -You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
  • We dwell continually in God presence –“O LORD, who may lodge [as a guest] in Your tent? Who may dwell [continually] on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity and strength of character, and works righteousness, And speaks and holds truth in his heart.” PSALM‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭AMP‬‬

I found myself wondering if God looks at my heart, how well have l been looking after my heart? With the heart we understand God, we love him, we are saved because we believed in our hearts. How well then can we get closer to God with an offended heart?. 

It may not even be your doing, it maybe something that happened in your past that has offended you, how you were treated, decide today that even though you don’t understand You want God more than the answers “..

A cheerful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 NIV

       🙏“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”‭‭PSALM‬ ‭51:10

It’s a daily process , l literally have to wake up daily and refuse to be offended, or to let any circumstances, any person to cause me to grow roots of bitterness and resentment. God is love so l will choose to love.

I hope you are encouraged to continue to guard your heart.
Love 

Shalom