It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

Posts tagged ‘obedience’

Suffering A Way to Learn Obedience

We have been trained by this fallen world system to think we should live life without difficulties or suffering. This thought has been cultivated in the minds of the masses so as to get them to question their lives, their purpose and God’s love for humanity. Suffering has been viewed as though something is wrong with the people suffering or that God is being harsh and unloving God. Yet the Bible tells us Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. We should let His suffering be an example of how we should navigate and deal with life’s suffering.

Hebrews 5:7-9  (Jesus) who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,  though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 

In past times followers of Christ viewed suffering as a natural process of life that one would go through while acknowledging God’s Sovereignty and His will for their lives. Through this process we can learn to trust God with the outcome of our circumstances. That He will give us the strength to endure the hardship, to develop character and integrity while we go through the process. God’s word has always been clear on this subject, in this life we will have tribulation but we can go through them with optimism because of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

John 16:32-33 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me3 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus told us what to expect in this life, so that we would not be blinded by Satan’s lies and live in despair and self-pity but that we should trust Him. We are to learn how to have peace in whatever situation we are in by trusting in God’s goodness and His love for us. We have seen those who have experiencedoverwhelming challenges, pain and difficulties in their life and they still show sympathy and compassion to others. They did not let the things they went through define who they were or the love God has for them. Those who do not have this hope may go through the same challenges and pain and yet they becomebitter, disheartened or full of self-pity because their hope is in themselves and this life alone. 

1 Corinthians 15:19-23 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 

Through suffering we learn to view things from a spiritual perspective and through the knowledge of God’s spiritual kingdom on earth. If we assess this life through our natural affinities, sympathies and attractions, we as a people will be most miserable. In this life there is so much hate, wrong doing and destruction and without the hope of God through faith inChrist we could easily give up on this life and mankind. 

God did not create the suffering; it is the result of a fallen world and the schemes of the enemy to get people to feel anger and hate, while blaming God for their problems. It is Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy but Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. The “might” rests witheach one of us. Jesus came and gave us the opportunity to live an abundant life but the choice remains with us.  The more we learn to trust and obey God’s word the more we are able to grow in character and in understanding of God’s will for our life and that He will bring us through this and our faith will glorify Him.  

John 9:1-3 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.  And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 

Life is about two choices, the fear of Satan or faith in God’s love. It is our choice to believe the lies of the enemy or the truthof God’s love. The question in every life situation is whose word will we believe? Satan speaks lies to invoke fear and Jesus speaks the truth of God’s love for us. Every person will face challenges in life, suffering and pain and there will bechoices as to whether they will operate in fear or love through faith. These choices will speak loudly as to what we truly believe and who we have faith in. When we walk in fear our actions say we do not trust God to be able to provide and protect us. When we wall in faith our actions will say, no matter what happens we trust God, though we may lose everything wecan still trust Him with the outcome of our life. 

Job13:15-16a Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.   He also shall be my salvation…

Christ is our example the first one to live this new life God created for His children. As He is so are we in this earth and we are to learn obedience through the things we suffer. Having faith in God, no matter what the enemy brings to us, believingGod will work it out for our good and His glory.  

Father open our eyes that we may see the spiritual things You are doing in our lives. Let us believe and have confidence in knowing that what the enemy meant for evil You will turn it for our good and Your glory. 

1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 

2 Kings 6:16-17 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 

2 Peter 2:19,21 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.   For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

NKJV

We Are to Learn Obedience Through the Things We Suffer

As followers of Christ we must change the way we view life and how we assess and evaluate the things that happen to us and around us. Some people have been taught an ideological teaching which says believers should not suffer or experience agony and grief. This is far from the truth, this fallen worldsystem is filled with challenges, pain and misery and we all may suffer in life at some point. It is going through these hardships that we learn to trust, respect and obey God’s word just as Jesus did. 

Hebrews 5:8 Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. NKJ

God sent His Son to redeem this world and to pay a debt we could not pay and it was the things He suffered that taught Him obedience and to trust God to navigate His life in this fallen world system.  We will encounter tests and trials that will challenge our faith just as Christ did and we too must choose to put our trust and respect in God our Father. 

1 Peter4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trail which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. NKJ

God required obedience from the first Adam but he rebelled against God’s command. Jesus came as the second Adam and even though He was the Son of God, He was obedient in the things He suffered. Jesus was despised and rejected by men and He endured the shame of dying on a cross for our sins.  The servant is not greater than his master, the things Christ went through believers will go through also.   We too may experience persecution, rejection and some may experience a martyr’sdeath or live as an outcast, dead to family and friends.  

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. NKJ 

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. NKJ

Christ is our example in that He trusted God in every situation to judge justly, to orchestrate and navigate life situations in ways that would bring God glory and allow His light to shineinto dark places.  Some situations may appear as though we are lost and are without any hope of being vindicated in this life. Though it appeared, in the natural, that Christ was defeated when He died on the cross but His death was a victory for sinners saved by grace. Our limited minds can only see thingsin part, but the Almighty God can reach across the lines of life and death, rich and poor or soul and spirit to bring about a triumph that none could have imagined.  

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto 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. NKJ

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” NKJ

The difference between the world and the followers of Christ is how they will allow oppositions and life challenges to affect the love they show to others and their actions during times of hardship or suffering. The world will say, you deserve better oryou should not have to suffer through these hard times. However, God’s word tells us of a different way and that we will experience tribulations as Christ followers. Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost, He came to be spent, depleted and used for us that we may be redeemed. Jesus came and died to His own ambition and laid aside those momentary life accomplishments done in this natural world to do the work of His Father. Now we might be saved, to have an eternal life and to be with Christ forever. 

John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” NKJ

It is when an olive is crushed and the grape is pressed that the true essence of its inner life flows out. It is when a cup is rattledor shaken that what lies within spills out. The same goes for humanity, as life presses in on us, that which dominates withinwill spills out, be it the love of God or the hate and fear of the enemy. When life comes at us hard, when we are well spent and totally exhausted then we will see our true automatic response in those situations.  Rather than justifying our actions with theexcuses of this world, we should take note as to what has flowed out of our soul and ask God to create in us a clean heart and to let His love flow in and through us. 

Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. KJV

Life is about challenges and choices and through these challenges and choices we will display our faith and beliefs to both the natural and spiritual world around us. God is glorified when we obey His word and have faith to trust in His love for us. Satan constantly comes to try and create doubt and to challenge God’s word. He is seeking and looking for an opportunity to devour those who give him permission through their lack of knowledge and understanding of God’s word. 

Do we expect to receive the good and not the challenges of sonship? It has been the challenges in life that stretch us and grow us into the image of Christ. Though we enjoy and rejoice in God’s blessing and favor, we learn respect, submission and obedience through the things we suffer and the challenges we experience.  Paul too was ready to be broken bread and poured out wine that those who knew him might be believe in the risen Christ in his life. 

2 Timothy 4:5-6 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure is at hand. NKJ

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. NKJ

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