23 Dec 2014 by Kim Yung CM-
When a time of suffering occurs, people often feel like they are being cut off from the good. At times, it is difficult to define suffering and the connection to suffering, while at other times we may believe that the reason for our suffering is due to our circumstances.
Often people place questions to God about its cause, and frequently reach the point of denying Him when they are unable to discover its reason. Edmund Chan graced Faith Oasis Fellowship on the 13th of December, where he preached to the congregation on suffering. He began by citing the verses below, which emphasized on focusing on the Lord no matter what we may face.
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 in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[a] and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (1Peter 4:12-19)
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
People believe that circumstances would change if they get their act right. Nonetheless, many people forget that God wants us to become mature and stable in our faith so that we may act right even when none of our circumstances are good. We may want to use our faith to get rid of a problem. But sometimes God’s plan is for us to exercise a higher level of faith that will carry us through life’s challenges. This requires even greater faith than being delivered from a situation, a faith that only comes from the understanding of suffering.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
“If you do not suffer for the Lord, then you will never be able to know why God asked us to carry the cross in our day to day lives,” he shared. We need to continue to focus on the Lord. “As you set your love upon Him, He will honour you and deliver you. He will set you high because you have known His name and when you call upon Him, He will answer you,” shared Edmund.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)
First of all, people often fall stray when they are not equipped with the Word of God to help them, for the knowledge hidden in the Bible has already given us the knowledge of what we need to know to get through this life before we are able to move on to the next. Subsequently, when we get to know the Word of God, it is important to be obedient to it and use it to our advantage in our daily lives. “God is merciful, He does not want to punish us because God is love but God is just. Therefore, He must punish our sin,” shared Edmund.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Then, there are other reasons for suffering such as the test of faith and the need to encourage others from our testimonies that we share. In this case, without suffering, we would not be able to understand the conveyance of the Word of God. Compassion is born out of experiencing similar problems.
God’s deliverance through our trials better equips us to minister to others. There is a certain comfort from knowing that our pain is never wasted; it brings about compassion that reaches out to other hurting people. It encourages them to step out into action. Therefore, it is important to have the Word of God within you so that you shall not grow weary but become the person that God has always intended you to be in the eyes of the world.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
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