Why Am I Suffering?

Jesus answer to suffering

Daily Spirit & Word 601: Why Am I Suffering?

Good morning my friends, did you see the Blood Moon yesterday? For some strange reason I awoke just as the shadow of the Earth began to cover the moon, so I watched it for a while. The moon looked quite big, they called it a super moon, but I’m sure I’ve seen even bigger moons than that when I was a child ūüôā Overshadow? I’m thinking what the Lord may be saying about that today.

I can’t give a reason for EVERYONE’S suffering, but sometimes the Lord wants to teach us something.

My friends Roy Hutchinson shared this on FB today:

Psalm 73:14-17 (ANIV)
14  All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15 ¬†If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.
16  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

If you read that whole Psalm, you’ll see the Psalmist is complaining to the LORD: Why do ‘good’ people have to suffer?

Suffering:

When we suffer sometimes we ask the question “Why?” Why am I suffering. Sometimes Christians get ashamed about their suffering or the duration of their suffering, because they think it’s the judgement of God. Other brothers and sisters sometimes don’t help, because they say things like; “You should pray about that” or “Perhaps God is disciplining you”… When you are suffering you want people to show some sympathy and empathy.

But it is GOOD to ask the question: “Why am I suffering?” but we should always ask the LORD not other people, because, unless they’ve been given a word of Knowledge from Him, they will not know.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17  For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 ¬†And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 ¬†So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

However, there are some great reasons why we suffer, but it’s good to ask the Lord the question “WHY?” He may reveal something that, unless the suffering had come, you would continue to be unaware of in your character or walk with Him.

Two verses jumped out at me from that passage today (perhaps another speaks to you in a different way), the verses were 15 & 17.

Verse 15 “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a¬†thief¬†or any other kind of evildoer (criminal), or even as a meddler (someone who interferes in the affairs of others).”

How many ‘good’ Christians do you know, who are meddlers? The Church is rife with people who meddle, we should not do it.

  • If you are a meddler, then you are an obstacle to someone else’s pathway in life.
  • If you are a meddler, you are interfering in an obtrusive,¬†noticeable¬†way.

Verse 17: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

It is so easy for the follower of Jesus to¬†skip¬†over the first part of verse 17 and focus upon the outcome of the sinner who¬†doesn’t¬†respond to the Gospel when they hear it. However, the first part could quite possible be even more enlightening for us; “For it is TIME for¬†judgement to begin with the family of God”. We don’t like to think that Father God will judge us, but it’s good for us if He does.

God disciplines, and judges those who belong to HIM NOW: “God disciplines those He loves”. He’s perfecting, training, shaping and moulding our Characters to become more and more like Jesus Christ, it is far better to KNOW that you belong to God’s family and experience His loving discipline now rather than wait for the judgement to come. We should invite the Lord to show us where we need to be transformed. “What’s next on Your agenda for me Heavenly Father?” Because our earthly nature, though it was put to death when we were baptised and united with Christ, is NOT completely dead, and will try and creep back up onto the throne of our life and kick the Lord Jesus Christ off.

It’s TIME for¬†Judgement¬†to begin with the Household (family) of God.

In other words, it is good for us when the Lord of Heaven disciplines us. So it’s no wonder this passage begins with “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” and continues with “rejoice”… It’s GOOD for us to experience some suffering, so we should never be ashamed or down-hearted or beaten down: Instead Christians should¬†Rejoice! Sing¬†hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Why? Because we are becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

So what should we do when we’re suffering?

First: REJOICE and PRAISE THE LORD: I know how hard that is sometimes, but it is what happens to us when we do it. JOY comes into our hearts when we praise the Lord, even when we’re in pain and suffering all kinds of trials.

Next: Continue to do Good: Verse 19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

Continue (even when you are suffering) to do good.

When I had a bad back just recently and found it difficult even to walk, there wasn’t much good I could do, but I prayed, studied God’s Word and shared with people in fellowship and online. It is the CONTINUING: Keep going even when the going gets tough.

Jesus will help you and give you the comfort, encouragement, and strength that you need when you are suffering. There were so many wonderful encouragements I received from the Lord whilst suffering in agony. Praise the LORD!

So it’s good to ASK the Lord, “Why Am I Suffering?”

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

Hope you all have a fantastic, wonderful, tremendous Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Please PRAY for us as we gather for Discipleship Fellowship Tonight @ 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church.

 

Your Future Is Greater Than Your Failure

Daily Spirit & Word, 506: Your Future is Greater than Your Failure.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 22: Your Future is Greater Than Your Failure.

At the 4th Session of the Course last night we discussed many things, but what I found most encouraging as the group leaders was the group are getting to know one another better, and the brown layers of the onion are coming off. Praise the Lord! It really does take time for a group of strangers to open up and begin to share their views, thoughts and feelings. There are times to share openly and times to share with just one or two others, it’s a fine balance of being candid and being wise. The Video Last night helped and opened up some aspects of the Christian life that need to be addressed by everyone who sincerely wants to follow Jesus Christ as Lord: Our past, present and future failures, sins and moral struggles.

I’m always encouraged when the group begins to meld into one and people start to watch out for one another, because you know then, that Jesus is starting to really build His body. It’s like He’s the Cement that sticks us all together.

The Fourth Week’s Focus: “Overcoming Failure”.

In this fourth week of 40 Days, we’ll be looking at the Resurrection Appearance of Jesus to the Disciples by the Sea of Galilee: John 21:1-22. How Jesus makes the approach after they’d failed to catch any fish after fishing all night, then following Jesus instructions they manage to catch so many that the boat begins to sink. Then Jesus cooks some fish for them and finally Jesus takes Peter off and has a chat about His commitment and love. We’ll see just how gentle a KING we’re serving and how He deals with our past failures and present struggles.

Personally, I’d have titled this week’s theme: “The Gentle Saviour’s Appearance Restores Our Walk” But we’re following Dave’s study book and he’s given it the Title: “Overcoming Failure.” It’s good to know how to overcome our failures, but I’d say we can overcome many more failures, much more easily, when we get a greater revelation of the Resurrected Lord Jesus, His character and motives as He reveals Himself and relates to His¬†Disciples back then and to us today.

Day 22’s Focus is: Your Future Is Greater Than Your Failure.

Again I’m tempted to change the title to; “Your Future in Jesus is Brighter than Your PAST Failures”… It’s always easy to get picky and choosy and modify anothers’ hard work though.

John 21:1 1  Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:

John 21:14 14  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

All of us struggle in life and we’ve failed in many different ways. Some of us are still living in the consequences of those failures and perhaps we’ve begun to wonder if there is ever going to be a way out or if we’ll ever get over it: There’s GREAT NEWS for us all today. “Your Future Is Greater Than Your Failures”:

The Call From God IS Much GREATER than Your Fall from God’s GRACE.

Jesus glorious light is brighter than your dimmest darkest hour.

History is full of people who’ve fallen down and failed, but who’ve managed, somehow, to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and do even greater things with the rest of their lives. Winston Churchill’s failure at Galipoli in the First World War, almost crushed him, but he rose from the ashes and became one of the most successful and popular modern leaders in the world. He led a Britain battered and broken through the Blitz and finally to victory over the evil Nazi regime.¬†My friends, it’s possible, even without Jesus to get back on track again: However, when we do it without Jesus, our past MORAL failings are not dealt with, we’ll be carrying them for the rest of our lives.

But imagine what life is going to be like if we do it with Him? When Jesus comes and visits us to deal with our FAILURES, He takes into account both our PRACTICAL FAILINGS and our MORAL FAILINGS. It is possible today, because of Jesus Resurrection from the Dead: The Disciples thought that Jesus had been defeated, that His mission had failed and they’d probably have begun to think about getting back to their old ways of life, but when He kept on APPEARING¬†to them, to give them assurance and guidance, they were getting back on track again.

Today, we’re thinking about this third appearance by the Sea of Galilee and how Jesus comes at a time when they’ve decided to go back, go back to what they know best in the world: Remember, Peter is a Fisherman and instead of doing what Jesus had told them, “To WAIT in Jerusalem, Until they are clothed with POWER from on high” he’s gone back to his old skill, fishing, and though he tried all night to catch some fish, he’d failed. We need to really dwell upon this:

He’s a Fisherman, He’s been fishing all night and caught NOTHING. Peter failed yet again.

Not only had Peter failed Jesus by denying Him three times, but now he’s done it again by being disobedient and gone off to do some fishing for fish instead of fishing for men. He’s trying to pick up his old life and now he’s failed at that too. That’s when Jesus appears again to them, when they’ve failed.

My friends, you may have failed at your work, you may have tried your best to be a ‘good’ Christian. You’ve tried and tried and worked as hard as you can, but then somehow the shutters keep coming down, you keep failing. That was Peter’s experience: NO FISH after fishing ALL NIGHT. He was an experienced fisherman. Then comes Jesus, in the midst of this failure and even though the disciples didn’t recognise him at first, he gives an instruction and they listen to the strangers voice and do what He says. It’s amazing, they catch so many fish, then they realise that it’s JESUS who was standing there on the shore all along.

When you’ve tried your best and failed my friends, it’s time to listen again to what God our Lord is telling us to do in life. In order to do that, we’ll need to have a good relationship with Jesus, but even if we’ve fallen away, like Peter had, we must remember, that even when we give up on God, we may haved denied Him, we may have gone back to our old ways of living on this earth, remember this; He’ll NEVER give up on us.

Though you may give up and go back to your old ways, Jesus will NEVER give up on you.

Many times I’ve known people who’ve tried to wander away from Jesus, they’ve had great excuses; they’ve been hurt, someone in church upset them, they didn’t find another fellowship, so they just stopped going, slowly the desire to read the Bible diminished too and prayer was a distant memory. When they found themselves deep in sin and far away from Jesus, they discovered that Jesus was only a prayer away. Jesus will NEVER give up on you my friends, no matter how far away you may think you’ve wandered or how deep you’ve fallen into sin. His love for you is much higher than the depth of your depravity. He promises to complete the work that He’s begun in your life.

Philippians 1:3-6 3  I thank my God every time I remember you.
4  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy,

5  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

When Jesus called you my friends, you can be certain of this or confident of it; Your Future IS Greater Than Your Failure, because Jesus is going to finish the work that He began in your life.

Have an AWESOME day with Jesus. Praise His Holy Name.

Don.

Here’s a man who thinks that Heaven is a little white light that grows bigger and you jump into the white space and create a place that you love: mmmmmmm. Watch as Ray Comfort takes him through the Gospel and shows the real reason that he need to get ready to meet with Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

 

 

Notes:

I’m often amazed at the way the people who split the Bible into chapters chose to break verses up and sometime it makes me cringe, this is one such occasion. We must remember that John’s Gospel didn’t have Chapters or Verses when it was originally written, these are for our benefit and to aid Bible study and memorisation. It was a way of ensuring preservation and standardisation of the Bible’s text.

John 21:1 is a verse that needs some picking apart to help us understand what’s happening: On the surface it’s obvious, Jesus has “appeared again” but where did it happen: The text tells us “The Sea of Tiberias” that’s just another name for the ‘Sea of Galilee’.

The Weakest Link

Daily Spirit & Word, 461: The Weakest Link.

“You are ONLY as STRONG¬†as your WEAKEST¬†Link”

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit¬†#6 Knowing God’s Word Helps To Maintaining My Purity.

“You are ONLY as STRONG¬†as your WEAKEST¬†Link”

On Saturday we talked about the Lord being the Anchor for your soul, today our focus is upon being able to maintain your purity as a Christian through Bible Memorisation. Bible Memory Training is good for the soul in so many wonderful ways. God’s Word encourages us to know ourselves, our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

The Anchor Chain:

You know that an Anchor is attached to a ship by a great big chain, with chunky links, but a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. It’s the same with you in your walk with Jesus. What weakness or weaknesses are there in your life that will keep you away from the Saviour.

Jesus was tempted in every area of personality by Satan and each time He was tested Jesus would quote a portion of God’s Word to combat Satan. He used the sword most effectively when at his weakest moments in life. When starving hungry, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread and he answered Satan by stating, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”…

That’s what Satan is like, when you’ve been deprived of something that you need or think you need for survival he’ll come and offer you something on a plate, but know that when Satan is offering you something like that, it’s going to lead you away from your walk with Jesus. You see my friends, Satan’s purpose is to see you fall, fail and fracture, he wants to break your connection to the Anchor for your soul.

The Chain Is ONLY as STRONG as it’s WEAKEST LINK.

In your battle to maintain purity, you’ll need to get to know your weak areas and strengthen them.

When an Anchor Chain is suspected of having a weak link, those links are inspected and when one is found to be cracked or damages in some way, it’s either replaced or welded. When you weld a piece of metal, then that weld makes it stronger than every other part of the link.

Possible Weak Links:

You know my friends, every weakness and sin is covered in the Bible many times and the LORD has ensured that within His revelation to you and me, there’s a portion that deals with your WEAKEST LINKS.

  • If your weakest link is depression, then Psalm 40 and Psalm 42 will definitely help you.
  • If you weakest link is materialism and greed for the worlds things, then you’ve got 1 Timothy 6.
  • If your weakest link is anger or swearing with a foul mouth, bad temper and an angry spirit, then you have Ephesians 4.
  • If your weakest link is lust, pornography or an immoral thought life, then you’ve got Ephesians 5 to help you.

In each of the areas above I’ve given only one scripture, but my friends in every case there are many more, because God’s Word is filled with awesome principles and precepts that will help you with every WEAK LINK in your life. There’s NO sin you can imagine doing that God’s Word has not covered.

I don’t know who coined the phrase; “Sin will keep you from the Bible, or the Bible will keep you from sin.” But it’s so true. When we get God’s Word into our hearts, minds, life and soul, then it’s more likely to keep us on the pathway of purity. Knowing the Lord Jesus Himself is of course key, being filled daily with the Holy Spirit cannot be forgotten, but the next most powerful way to strengthen every single one of your LINKS in the chain connecting you to your anchor (The Lord Jesus Christ) is to weld them in place by storing them in your inner being; Bible Memory Training.

Key Bible Verses:

These will enable you to know the precept that storing God’s Word is fundamental or foundational training in Discipleship and the pathway to Christian maturity.

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) As A Man THINKETH.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so¬†is¬†he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart¬†is¬†not with thee.”

Psalm 119:11¬†“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.¬†6 ¬†In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Hebrews 12:1-7 (NIV)

2 Corinthians 12:9-10¬†“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.¬†10 ¬†That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Tactics: Knowing Your Enemy:

Sun Tzu (Also Satan’s Tactics against Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ).

The Enemy:¬†‚ÄúWhen strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.‚ÄĚ Sun Tzu.

I want to fill it out a little;

  • When your enemy is strong, avoid them.
  • When they have high morale, depress them.
  • When they seem humble, then fill them with conceit.
  • When they are at ease, exhaust them.
  • If they are united, then separate them.
  • Attack their weaknesses.
  • Emerge to their surprise.

When you look at these tactics of the Chinese Tactical Warfare Expert, Sun Tzu, you’ll notice they are some of the ways that Satan attacks the Believer. So my friends, knowing your Weaknesses must therefore be a key to your victory in the Christian life. For when you know your weaknesses, then you can be strong. Christians are not to focus upon those weaknesses, but opon the LORD who’ll enable us to gain victory by meditating on His revelation in those areas. He’ll enable us to overcome all our weaknesses.

It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll be seeing the need to Memorise, Internalise, Meditate and Think about God’s Word every single day. Strengthen every WEAK LINK in your life with God’s Word and you’ll be well on your way to Christian maturity and Spiritual growth.

Have and AWESOME week my friends.

Don.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #6¬†Knowing God’s Word Helps To Maintaining My Purity.

The Weakest Link.