Friday, March 27, 2009

Good News about Suffering....................

God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition. God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual character. You really do not know the truth about someone spiritually when everything is going well. It doesn't surface because basically they appear to be at peace and happy and with a measure of joy and satisfaction and fulfillment in life because superficially and on the surface everything is okay. Then when things begin to go wrong, reality begins to surface as to their spiritual condition. And the worse things get, the more their spiritual character is being revealed. When you strip away the blessings, and you strip away the successes and you strip away the prosperity and you strip away the health and you begin to peel it all back, then you're going to find out what somebody is really made of spiritually. In FAITH, adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity that we are to look for, appreciate and utilize it. This is difficult to do if you're feeling sorry for yourself because you're faced with adversity. Pain narrows vision. The most private of sensations, it forces us to think of ourselves and little else. When life breaks loose, you may be doing something right. Just because we don't see a reason for evil and suffering doesn't mean there's not a reason for it.Consider the story of Joseph and the amazing conclusion in Genesis 50:20 - " You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." There are countless other stories, where suffering was not good, but with time and perspective, some see the good that resulted from the pain and tragedy in their lives.

Real faith is refined in the fires and storms of pain. Every truth about suffering can be twisted into a weapon for or against God. Most often suffering speeds us in the direction we are already heading - whether toward or away from God. Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovreignty of God. The evil and suffering in this world are greater than any of us can comprehend. But evil and suffering are not ultimate. God is. Satan, the great lover of evil and suffering, is not sovereign. God is.

One side suffering may be viewed as coming from God to bring out the BEST in us (See: Book of Job, Gen. 22:1-2, 15-18; Hebrews 11:17).

On the other side of the coin, Satan brings us sufferings to bring out the WORST in us (see: Book of Job and James 1:13-14).

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