Loving God by Persevering Under Trial
Written by: Andrew Greene
As disciples of Christ, we oftentimes will be challenged by atheists with the rhetorical question: “If God is a loving, and merciful God, then why does He allow so much suffering? Why doesn’t He stop evil from prevailing?”
In those moments, when our faith is tested by others, who are trying to use our beliefs against us to discourage our faith, we will find that we don’t always have a response ready for them. We don’t know how to answer the question that they’re throwing at us because we often wonder the same thing; God why are You allowing this to happen? We must remember the common denominator between all of mankind is that everyone suffers, the victim and the oppressor.
When we encounter suffering
When we encounter suffering, we need to respond by asking “What is God doing prophetically through this?”
In those moments of trial:
1. Sometimes the reason we suffer is so that when God gives us peace, we can comfort others who suffer, with the same peace He has given to us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.(2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
2. Our suffering teaches us to grow in endurance, character and confidence. And God’s love is shown through the giving of His Holy Spirit.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.(Romans 5:1-5)
3. Our suffering prepares us for harder times we will face in the future. This current time we live in is evident of the last days, and there are trialing times ahead of us that we must be ready for.
Consider it joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.(James 1:2-4)
4. Sometimes our suffering is a testimony of our faith to others, in how we stand firm under persecution and let nothing hinder our trust in God.
Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.(1 Peter 3:13-17)
We must remember – The way that we ultimately persevere under trial is by trusting God; Knowing who He is, and knowing that He is always in control. He has a plan and purpose through our suffering. Romans 8:28 says “God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
The story of Joseph in the Bible is a great example of the type of prophetic faith we need to prevail over our sufferings, trusting God in our difficult situations. His story is a testimony that God is always one step ahead of everything. He is always in control and operating in the prophetic. God used Joseph to save countless lives in Egypt after Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, and spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The fact that Joseph even had the courage to forgive his brothers and tell them, “What you meant for evil God intended for good” shows how much He faithfully trusted God. We must have that same attitude and prophetic mentality that Joseph had; when hardships come our way, what the enemy uses against us, God can turn around and use for His glory and redemptive purposes.
The reason that there is suffering in the world today, is because God gifted us with freewill, the choice between good and evil, and man rebelled against God.
Some Atheists will try to disrupt the belief in God, by claiming that God is not real because He is not who He says He is; A loving and merciful God who will destroy evil and prevent suffering. But the fact of the matter is that atheism itself, is the philosophy of death and suffering, because without God, there are no rules, and sin abounds.
Without God, there is no moral basis in one’s life, and they believe they are free from the condemnation of their sin even though Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
But God is who He says He is; He is a loving and merciful God. Instead of Him condemning us for our sins and sending us all to hell, He in His mercy and love, sent Jesus Christ into the world, to be our advocate, and to die in our place as a permanent atonement for our sins. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
God does not want to kill sinners, as shown in Ezekiel 18:23 : “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?”
We must remember that the Lord Jesus Himself suffered as a human being, so He knows and understands our suffering.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself, likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.(Hebrews 2:14-18)
After Jesus was crucified on the cross and buried, He rose from the dead and conquered the reign of death once and for all. Death is no longer something we fear but something we look forward to, because it is the doorway to eternal joy and peace with our Lord and Savior.
And let us not forget the most important thing: Suffering is not eternal for those who trust in Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior. All suffering will end at one point.
“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”(Revelation 21:4)
So, in the end, there will be no more suffering.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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