Commentary By: Gordon King
Unforeseen circumstances, tragedies, hardships in life happen to all of us, even to those who seem to be above it all. Life has its ups and it’s downs. However, for the true believer in Jesus Christ, life will even have more challenges.
A believer and follower of Christ will suffer as Christ has suffered. He or she will endure trials, tribulations, hardships, and persecution. And at times we may also be chastised for our disobedience to God! Life doesn’t get any easier just because we are saved, in fact it can be much more difficult than for the unbeliever!
Many people think that when you get saved life will be easy, that we will no longer suffer or have pain, but Jesus never promised that, in fact He said just the opposite.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.“
Jesus told us that we would have tribulation, that we would suffer and have pain, that we would be persecuted for our faith in Him.
Many, many unbelievers choose not to believe in God because of pain and suffering in the world. They just cannot wrap their head around the belief of a God who would allow pain and suffering. But we live in a fallen world, a world full of sin, not because of God, but because of man, because of man’s disobedience to God!
The world has been corrupted by man’s rebellion against God. Pain and suffering were introduced into this world by the sin of man, not because of anything God did!
God gives us all a choice, a free will. He allows us to make our own decisions in life, and this includes whether or not we choose to follow Him or rebel against Him! Pain and suffering in this world is one way God uses to open our eyes to the truth. He uses it to bring us down on our knees in repentance and acceptance of Him and His will. He uses it in order to stop us in our tracks and to take a long hard look at the reality of Himself, of life, and of eternity.
This is why He allows pain and suffering in the world. But why then you may ask, does He allow His followers to also endure pain and suffering?! I mean, if we are already following Him and are obedient to Him, why would He allow this?
For one thing, we may be headed in the wrong direction, perhaps we have made some bad decisions in life, and the Lord may be using pain and suffering to show us the error of our ways and to lead us back to Him. Another thing is that God uses pain and suffering in the life of a believer in order to weed out the sin in our life, to purify us, and to make us more Christ like.
I believe that the number one reason God allows pain and suffering in the life of a believer is to mold us into being useful for His will. A believer who never has pain or suffering in life is not as useful to God as a believer who has been tested and tried! When we endure hardships, trials, tribulations, pain and suffering, then our hearts are changed, we see things from a new and godly perspective. We then have the ability to help others in similar situations and become a blessing to others. We gain faith, understanding, wisdom, and knowledge of God. Our relationship with God intensifies, and we gain godly experience, we are then able to discern with the spirit and not of the flesh. Experiential knowledge of God makes us more like God! It increases our faith, gives us new insights, and reveals to us just who God really is.
However, unfortunately there are even believers who may not follow God’s lead when enduring such pain and suffering. They may for some reason turn the other way, they may in fact fall away from the faith. I would then ask if they were truly saved in the first place!
God does not want us to suffer, in fact just the opposite. However He will use it for our good, and He will use it to accomplish His will.
Life for a believer sounds pretty dim if that is all you know about it! Pain, suffering, trials, tribulations, persecution! However, you must take a look at the entire picture first before making any rash decisions. Christians are blessed by God! We have been made new creations, given eternal life, and we have God on our side! Some of us have been blessed with physical wealth, however, many not. But true wealth is not of this world, but of the spiritual world, of heavenly things. This life is short, and whatever physical gains we have made are only temporary, however spiritual gains are eternal! We must store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where nothing is destroyed, where it lasts for eternity!
As believers in Christ we are blessed with God’s presence, we are blessed by the Holy Spirit within us, and we are blessed with the knowledge and wisdom of God. We are blessed by His faith which He has given to us, blessed by His power and His might, by His courage and His strength, by the life that He gives!
Being a Christian is so much more than just believing in God, it is following God and His ways! It is imitating Christ, living as Christ lived, and loving people as Christ loves us!
Whatever you do in this world, in this life, do it for the Lord. In doing so you will build up for yourself treasures and blessings. God is a rewarder of those who love Him. There is nothing wrong in believing that God will reward us, for scripture tells us we must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
God bless my friends! Maranatha!