Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Why suffer? Why me?
“Why have You afflicted Your servant?” Numbers 11:11 NKJV
Our heavenly Father frequently sends us trouble to test our faith. If our faith is worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilding is afraid of fire, but gold is not; artificial gems dread the touch of a diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith that can only trust God when friends are true, the body is full of health, and the business runs profitably. But it is a true faith that clings to the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, the body is sick, spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s face is hidden. It is a heaven-born faith that can say, in the direst trouble, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). The Lord afflicts His servants in order to glorify himself—for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own handiwork. When “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3–4 ESV), the Lord is honored by these growing virtues. We would never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor would we enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not crushed in the winepress. We would never discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor would we feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which “the objects of his mercy” (Romans 9:23) are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend to heighten future joy. There must be shadows in the picture to bring out the beauty of the light. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven if we had not known the curse of sin and sorrow on earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after hard labor? Will not the memory of past sufferings enhance the happiness of the glorified in heaven? There are many other comforting answers to the question of today’s Scripture. Let us consider them all day long. C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without
knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.”
Job was a righteous man who, from a human perspective, did not deserve to suffer. He lived a blameless life and followed God's laws to the letter. As he was experiencing great tribulation, Job cried out in frustration and questioned why God was allowing him to suffer. God came to Job in the form of a whirlwind with His answer and asked him several sobering questions: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Where were you when I set the oceans in their place? Where were you when I put the constellations of stars in position?” God's questions humbled Job and reminded him that his own wisdom did not begin to compare with God's.
When God finished asking His questions, Job replied, “I have uttered what I did not understand, / Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3). In a moment of despair and frustration, Job had challenged God's wisdom. God had firmly reminded Job that He was still sovereign and that this truth was enough for Job. Whether Job ever knew that his life had been the focus of a cosmic struggle is unclear. Perhaps Job never realized that his experience brought glory to God in the face of Satan's challenge (Job 1:8–12). But Job was satisfied to know that God's wisdom was flawless.
At times you may not understand why a loving Father would allow you to suffer as you are. Learn from Job. Review the awesome power and wisdom of Almighty God (Job 38–41). Have confidence that this same God is directing your path.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
It is always an interesting and important thing when it appears that God says a very similar thing from two sources so different from each other.
We live in what is commonly believed to be the most advanced civilization in history. Yet pain is as real today in the body and soul as it was the day Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden. Read that last sentence again. Driven out. They didn't want to go. Didn't want to leave. They were forcibly removed. How great the sorrow that began that day. First, at the spoken consequences of sin then to be forced out the door to a world that wasn't going to be kind at all. They not only had to work for food and shelter, but work at a relationship with Jesus again. Instead of that relationship just being there, they would have to work at it. Truth is in all these centuries since, work gets in the way of a fuller relationship with Jesus.
Job. The story of Job is interesting in that the experts really don't know when in history it took place. My guess is it's somewhere near the end of the life of Joshua who led the people of Israel into the promised land.
Job had questions, perhaps the same as you might ask because of what you are going through in life. The answers to you and I will be the same. The biggest part of faith is trusting God.
We who are in Christ, who have Him as our personal Savior, not just believing that He exists, have hope of His promises. You must do more than just believe He exists and is real. Scripture says that even the demons believe that, and they at least shudder at the truth of that thought. Most humans would rather shake their fists at God. No reverence, no respect, nothing. Then wonder why their lives are in turmoil.
Why do their hearts break, why is there so much pain?
My friend Scripture also says that apart from God we can do nothing. We can't live life apart from God. Look at what was just said about Adam and Eve. It horrified them to leave Eden. To not have that intimate relationship with Jesus at any moment in life. Sin had betrayed them and ruined everything.
My deepest struggles revolve around trying to understand problems. Problems of my heart, l have deep conversations with Jesus about. I really cannot fathom how those who do not have Jesus as their Savior, live in this life without Him.
To have sorrows and pains that nobody can help, apart from the world's solution which involves psychotherapy and drugs.
Christ knows the hearts of those who are His. He's there with them, in them. Keeping His promise never to leave nor forsake them. Comforting them. Providing a peace that passes all understanding.
Scripture says that the Lord searches the hearts of man. Yes this includes the unbeliever as well. But the unbeliever cannot benefit from the work of the Holy Spirit without receiving Christ as their Savior. You will not enjoy the benefits of a new car warranty without paying for the new car. If it's stolen...that thief cannot use that warranty to fix it. You cannot try to have a false relationship with Jesus and expect Him to have a relationship with you. Jesus knows who are His and who are not.
Your sorry indeed may be great this day. From what's happened in this world, from heartbreak, from relationships gone wrong. You cannot handle this on your own. You need the one who knows you better than you do. If you want hope again, you must choose to come to Christ.
He isn't some 'crutch' to go to as a last resort. He cares more than you know. He is ready to love you more than you will ever expect. But you have to choose.
Your way isn't working right. So rather than repeating the same things over and over again, expecting different results, why won't you try Jesus? Oh that's right. Those people you know might think that you are weak. That you fell off the deep end. You are more concerned about what people think than what God thinks of you.
My friend, people who recognize they have a need in an Emergency room do not care about formalities. They don't care about anything but getting to the point of receiving help and care. Let go of your hangups and ask Jesus to save you.
We are the first to say what we don't deserve. We live in a world that says you should get what you don't deserve because you participated. Because your feelings were hurt.
May I remind you that nobody in Hell has any doubts that God is real. That God had offered to save them. That the reason they are there in torment is because of their choice to reject Jesus. They cannot change a thing about their choice.
You can. It matters not how popular or unpopular you are in this life. What matters in all things including any hope for a better life in this life is this: is Jesus Christ your Savior? You want hope? Come to Christ. You want the ability to get through the day? Come to Christ. You want to have a peace that passes all understanding? Come to Christ.
Hate to break it to everyone, it matters not what your celebrity status is, if you die without Jesus as your Savior, you will find yourself in Hell. You can do everything right by worldly standards, but without Christ, you will be in Hell at your death.
You can believe you are a great human being, without Christ, you will go to Hell.
I have hope in this life because of Christ.
I may suffer through things in this life, but, with Christ, I do not do so by myself.
You probably think your pain and sorrow are overwhelming. They probably are. In Christ, they can be taken care of.
Christ is your answer to your question.