Suffering and sickness in the Holy Bible – Part 8
The Suffering Of The Righteous Cont.
God has also promised to bring good out of all the sufferings and persecution of those who love Him and obey His commands (see Rom 8:28). Joseph recognised this truth in his own life of suffering (cf. Gen 50:20), and the author of Hebrews shows how God uses the painful parts of our lives for our growth and benefit (see Heb 12:5).
(3) In addition, God has promised to stand by us in our pain, to walk with us “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23:4; cf. Is 43:2). He does so by His Holy Spirit, Who comforts us in all our troubles (see 2Cor 1:4). To each of His children, He sends sufficient grace, so that they can bear the trials of life (1Cor 10:13; see 2Cor 12:9).
(4) Finally, do not forget that the Lord Jesus shares your pain. When we pray to Him, we have a sympathetic high priest, who himself experienced the various dimensions of our trials and sufferings (Heb 4:15). He indeed “hath borne our grieves, and carried our sorrows” (Is 53:4). There is healing for our sufferings through the sufferings that He bore on our behalf (Is 53:5).
Victory Over Personal Suffering. Now, we must address an important issue: when experiencing trials and affliction, what steps can we take to cope with such suffering, so as to be victorious over it? (1) First, consider the various reasons human beings suffer (see previous sections) and how those apply to you. If you can identify a specific reason, then follow the appropriate response. (2) Believe that God cares deeply for you, regardless of how severe your circumstances are (see Rom 8:36; 2 Cor 1:8-10; Jas 5:11; 1 Pet 5:7). Suffering should never lead you to deny God’s love for you or to reject Him as your Lord and Saviour. (3) Turn to God in earnest prayer and seek His face. Wait for Him until He delivers you from your affliction (see Ps 27:8-14; 40:1-3; 130). (4) Expect God to give you the grace necessary to bear your affliction, until deliverance comes (1Cor 10:13; 2Cor 12:7-10). Always remember “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom 8:37; cf. Jn 16:33).
The Christian faith lies not in the removal of weakness and suffering, but in the manifestation of divine power through human weakness (see 2Cor 4:7). (5) Read the Word of God, especially those psalms that give comfort in times of affliction (e.g., Ps 11; 16; 23; 27; 40; 46; 61; 91; 121; 125; 138). (6) Seek revelation and discernment from God regarding your particular situation ― through prayer, Scripture, the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or the counsel of a godly, mature believer.
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