Commentary By: Gordon King
The world we live in is full of pain and suffering, and at times seems unbearable to many. And many ask if there is a God and He is love, then why would he allow pain and suffering in the first place?!
I can think of many answers, yet I don’t know all of them, and many are mysteries to us. However I do know that the Lord allows us to suffer for many reasons, some of which are to give us a new perspective, to grow us in our faith of God, and to mold us more like Christ. It is most apparent that those of us following Christ will grow closer to Him when we are at our lowest, when we walk through dark valleys, and when we suffer. I believe that unfortunately most believers do not actually grow closer to God when everything in their life is going well, when things in life are good and plentiful.
God can heal us, that is if it is according to His will.
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.“
I know of some believers who think that if we pray for healing that God will in fact heal us, and I used to be one of them, that it is God’s will for all sickness and illness to be healed if we pray for it. Then there are those including myself who think that God will heal us if it is according to His will, that it is not always according to His will for us to be healed.
That does not mean that we should not pray for healing, of course we should, however it shall be done according to God’s will, not our own.
The apostle Paul suffered from an affliction, of what no one really knows. However he suffered of it until his death, the good Lord did not heal Paul from his affliction. Perhaps it was to increase Paul’s faith, to give him a new perspective, to keep his eyes on the Lord and not wander from the truth?
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.“
The apostle Paul received a physical affliction, and he pleaded with God three times that it may be removed, yet God told him no! “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” That about says it all my friends! God does not always heal us of our afflictions. He wants us to rely on Him, on His grace, and His strength. For in our weaknesses we are made strong through Christ and His strength, by His grace!
God allowed the apostle Paul to physically suffer so that Paul would not be prideful, so that He would always rely on the Lord, and by that Paul would in fact increase his faith in God. The same is true for us. God allows pain and suffering in our lives for a reason and the reasons are the same for us as they were for the apostle Paul!
If you suffer from physical afflictions, such as I do myself, then do not be worried, be thankful that the good Lord is with you and for you! Take pleasure in your afflictions for Christ’s sake, knowing that God will use His strength and His grace to see us through. For in our weakness we are made strong, and by our afflictions we shall increase our faith and gain a new understanding and perspective, a heavenly perspective.
The Lord is good, and He has a perfect reason for everything, this is where our faith comes into play, when we are weak, when we suffer, and when we endure trials and tribulations in life. Let us not forsake the Holy Spirit in times of weakness, but embrace Him as our comforter, our provider, and our friend! Likewise, let us not forsake Him in good times, when things are plentiful, and we have been blessed with more than we deserve!
Those following Christ who suffer in this life will gain insight and understanding. Our faith in God shall increase, our relationship with God will be made closer, and our weaknesses shall be turned into strengths! For when we are weak then we are strong.
God bless my friends! Maranatha!