Saturday, January 28, 2012

But, I Don't Want To Suffer...

I think it is important and vital to our walk with Christ to remember that just because He doesn't relieve us from our pain (physical, emotional, or spiritual) or any other form of suffering doesn't mean He doesn't care. Many times we need to pray for the ability to endure whatever He has put in our path and not assume it is an attack from the enemy. We give the enemy more "credit" than what he is worth - he can't do anything without the Father saying, "Yes, go ahead." If we think he has free reign over our lives then are we saying that Jesus is not all powerful? That He is not sovereign? The Name It & Claim It gospel and the Prosperity gospel are dangerous, in my opinion. So, what happens when we pray and God doesn't bring us out of poverty? How about when we pray for the life of our loved one and then they die? Or what about praying for our healing or the healing of another and they never are never healed? What this does is put us in a position where we doubt our faith; maybe even doubt the God we serve. "Maybe if I would have been stronger." "Maybe if my faith were stronger." "Maybe if I would have done things differently." When in reality it is not our decisions. God chooses to take life when we don't think He should. He chooses to allow someone to become paralyzed and live in a wheelchair for the rest of their life. He allows sickness to come and maybe He won't take it away. What then? One of two things happens...we either blame our self because we should have done better or we blame God for not loving us enough to answer our prayers the way we feel they should be answered. We must remember, we cannot see what He sees. We cannot know what He knows. Scripture says we will suffer...1 Peter 4:12, 13 says,

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."

Notice it says "when it comes" not "if it comes". We will suffer for following Christ. We have no choice. Even Jesus suffered so why shouldn't we? We certainly aren't a holy people and we certainly don't deserve more than Jesus. I have learned over my adult life that God uses every "bad" thing to make me who He wants me to be. Yes, I wish I would have never had to endure any of the things I have but I can be thankful for them now. Know why? I have found that I am able to minister to others that are struggling in the areas I have. I am also thankful because each trial has drawn me closer to Him. When our daughter died, I asked, "Why?" Why did you take her from us? Why is this happening to us? His answer? "Why not you?" We could have looked at it as an attack from the enemy but then it would have been our fault because our faith wasn't deep enough. If only we would have been stronger he couldn't have taken her. What a lie that is!

I no longer look at "bad" things that happen as an attack. I look at it and ask what God wants to show me; what He wants me to change; who He wants me to minister to. In the end it's all about glorifying Him anyway.