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 ❤️