This is Part 6 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question of “Why does a loving God allow suffering?”
Our Lives Should Reflect Our Father’s Holiness
That is the point! Our lives should be holy, for He is holy. Jesus Christ is holy, for He is God. And He perfectly submitted to the Father’s will in all things. So, what should your response be? First of all, you don’t have to understand everything – you only need to trust Him. David said it well, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10 NKJ)
Secondly, don’t focus on rules or commandments, but on the Lord Jesus. Open Scripture and look for what you can learn about Him. He is the issue, not your lifestyle. But does God desire you to be holy? Absolutely! Peter wrote, “Be holy, for I am holy. (1 Pet. 1:16 NKJ) And as you learn about Him and grow in your relationship with Him, you will humbly seek after what pleases Him and you will be amazed at how easy the Christian life becomes.
Thirdly, seek to understand and live for the glory of God. You can do this whether going to church or sweeping the floor where you work! Do it all for the glory of God! Paul wrote, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31 NKJ) This includes how you handle suffering. Just as Job learned that he could trust God even while undergoing trials, you can trust the Lord and resonate His glory. When you do, you will have such an impact on others! Two examples that come to mind are Joni Eareckson Tada and also Nick Vujicic (who, without any limbs, reaches students and adults with the power and love of Jesus Christ). Their motivation comes from pursuing holiness and knowing how Jesus suffered for us and therefore we can stand for Him.
The Picture The World Sees Will Be Miraculous
That holy life is not an easy one – in fact, the world will see it as miraculous! In your patient suffering that is free from bitterness or revenge and full of forgiveness, you live as if you are about to meet the Lord Jesus Christ. You will find your hope in Him alone. Christ is your solid rock. Therefore, you will rejoice to the extent that you can suffer for Christ’s sake.
You should always be examining your self to see that you are pursuing that holy life. As you do, you will draw closer to Him. You will not be daunted by the ploys of the enemy. You will be stirred up away from any forms of complacency. And, you will sense a fresh wind of God’s Spirit as He empowers you to press on to the upward call of Christ Jesus. You will be an amazing picture of God’s grace in action and the world will have no human explanation for your life!
Paul made it very clear,
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:17-18 NKJ)
1) As you look at most other lives, do see people pursuing “Eat, drink and be merry!” or “Pursue and be holy as God is holy”? What are some examples?
2) How much do you suppose the enemy confuses Christians in the midst of suffering from walking in the Truth? What ploys do you suppose he uses to create enough wonder to pull his prey from the righteous path?
3) How do you explain how Jesus was completely dependent on the Holy Spirit? Was it necessary if Jesus was God? Why or why not?
4) Why is it difficult to consider our own responsibility when we are in the midst of suffering?
5) What steps do you take in order to live a holy life even as Jesus did while He was on earth?
2Bramer, Stephen, “Suffering in the Writing Prophets (Isaiah to Malachi),” Why, O God. (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), p. 159.
3Anderson, Victor, “Pastoral Care and Disability,” Why, O God.” (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), p. 232.
This concludes this question.