Many believers today suffer through situations and the cares of this life without really understanding why. Some bow out of their relationship with God while others accept it with tired resignation as the life that they are to live as a Christian or a believer. Still others buck and kick against their suffering never understanding why they are suffering. Some even indict God and become angry with Him. Think about this, without a situation of suffering, you'll never come to know the power of Jesus in your life. Suffering can actually become an opportunity for the power of God to be demonstrated in our life.
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; I Peter 4:1
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Luke 22:42
For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. Acts 9:16
Paul spoke of his suffering, saying:
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death. Philippians 3:10
For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. II Corinthians 13:4
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life. . . so now it was not you that sent me hither but God. (Genesis 45:5, 7)
"No longer call me Naomi (which means blessed), but call me Mara." The name Mara means "bitter." (Ruth 1:20)
However, Naomi did not let the bitter circumstances of her life cripple her. She took measures to be closer to her God in her decision to return to Judah and was blessed for it in the end.
v YOUR MINISTRY:
- for His name's sake (Acts 9:16),
- in behalf of Christ, (Philippians 1:29),
- for the Kingdom of God (II Thessalonians 1:5),
- for the Gospel (II Timothy 1:11-12),
- for well-doing (I Peter 2:19-20; 3:17),
- for righteousness sake (I Peter 3:14),
- as a Christian (I Peter 4:15-16),
- and according to the will of God (I Peter 4:19).
For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. (Acts 9:16)
Paul's response to suffering was to endure "the loss of all things to win some for Christ." He wrote to believers:
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Philippians 1:29)
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:36-40)
We focus on living faith but God also reveals His power in dying faith. This is a faith that stands true in the bad times, not just in good times when mighty deliverance is manifested.
Either God willed it or He allowed it.
Either way, know by your faith in Him that He will see you through it!