Some random thoughts for several of you going through serious problems, trials, sufferings, difficulties, and heartaches at this time . . . .
- You never have to prove you are lost, but everyone must prove he is saved. The Bible assumes we are all born lost and need salvation from sin (2 Corinthians 13:5).
- The way you ultimately respond to trials either proves or disproves the genuineness of your saving faith (Matthew 13:20-21; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
- Sometimes God uses our trials and our wrong responses to show us our lost condition and our need for Christ and to eventually bring us into the Kingdom (Acts 14:22).
- If you are truly saved, God has told you to expect various kinds (i.e., multi-colored or tailor-made specific forms) of sufferings in your life, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, material, or financial, etc. None of us are exempt from these experiences (John 16:33; 1 Peter 4:12-16).
- If you are a genuine believer in Jesus Christ, God has promised to “change” you into Christ-likeness. This is something God has predestined to occur and is a non-negotiable in your life. In other words, the decision has already been made for you, and you must change. It’s not optional at all to any degree. You consented to this when you came to Christ for salvation. He is the Master, and you are the slave (Romans 8:28-30).
- God is going to use difficult and/or painful situations and circumstances in your life to bring about this mandatory change in order to perfect you as a Christian (1 Peter 5:10-11).
- We are to view suffering as a good gift from a good God that accomplishes His good goal (Philippians 1:28-30; James 1:2-12).
- If you resist God’s changing of you to make you more biblical in your thinking and/or more obedient in your attitudes and actions through trials, God will chasten you through various means like a parent does a child. He will absolutely make sure you are miserable as long as it takes until you fully submit to what God wants in your heart and life (Hebrews 12:5-11).
- God is using your pain to humble and motivate you, so He can draw you closer to Himself in the end (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Your feeling that you are entitled or deserve something better than what God has ordered for your life is evidence of pride. The truth is, we deserve nothing but Hell, so anything beyond that is God’s grace, mercy, and blessing toward us for Christ’s sake.
- Sometimes it is God’s providential will for us to experience some type of difficulty or suffering for doing what is biblically correct. When that happens we must humbly accept it and live with it, while trusting in God. He always does what is right, including the ordering of the circumstances and situations in our life (1 Peter 3:17; 1 Peter 4:19).
- Sometimes God even uses the sin of others—and the pain and suffering it causes us—as part of His plan to change us (Genesis 50:20).
- If you are authentically God’s child and you try to evade or avoid His will in your life, your running from God’s will will result in greater consequences and pain for you than if you had done what God wanted to begin with. The prophet Jonah is the classic example of this. You can run, but you cannot hide (Jonah 1-2).
- God also allows trials in order to teach us to pray, to be wise, and to be spiritually mature (James 1:2-8).
- God wants us to view our present temporary trials in light of future eternal glory, when we will be made perfectly like Christ via glorification. For the real Christian, the sufferings of this life are temporal, but the glory they produce will be eternal (Romans 8:16-18, 35-39).
- God never wastes your problems but uses those troubles as a platform for you to help and serve others. God uses your difficulties to make you useful to Him and others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
- One of the evidences that someone is responding correctly to life’s trials is an increasing faith in God’s sovereignty, love, and wisdom, which causes them to obediently rejoice, pray, and give thanks in and for all circumstances of life, including their sufferings (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
- In order for a born-again person to endure pain and problems in a successful manner, they must trust in God and the truth of His Word (Psalm 56:4; Proverbs 16:20) instead of their own human reasoning (Proverbs 3:5-6) and feelings (Proverbs 28:26), both of which are fallen and deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9). This is important, because the way a person thinks determines how they will eventually act toward God and others (Romans 12:1-2). If their thinking is not right, their attitudes and actions will not be right. Putting off the Old Man and putting on the New Man in practice requires right thinking (Ephesians 4:20-24).
- The Bible teaches that God is in absolute, sovereign control of all the events and circumstances of life, both the good and the bad (Psalm 103:19). Therefore, just because there are times when someone feels like life is out of control—when things are not going the way they want, planned, or preferred—does not mean they are out of God’s control. God is still using all of the situations of life for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28-30).
Please look up these verses in the New American Standard Bible and meditate on these things. I’m praying for you!
~ Pastor Jeff