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: