Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 6

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, Continue reading

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Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 5

This is Part 5 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 6 will be posted tomorrow.

We Need To Consider Our Own Responsibilities

In the same way we trusted by faith the Lord Jesus, we also need to trust Him in the midst of our trials. Why do trials come our way? There are several possible causes:

First of all, because we have sinned and/or acted foolishly, God the Father may be imposing Divine discipline because of His infinite love for us (Heb. 12:5-6). There is no godly father who will let his child wander away from the right path into a poison ivy patch or onto a freshly frozen pond! In the same way, God the Father will use any means necessary to get us “back on track,” which is often called chastening. Continue reading

Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 4

This is Part 4 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 5 will be posted Thursday, September 11.

We Need To Fix Our Eyes on the Lord Jesus

Keeping our focus on the Lord Jesus seems like such a simple thing, but doing so in the midst of suffering is not easy! That is why the Lord has given us the Scripture, “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2 NKJ) The Biblical mandate is to fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus, just as Jesus fixed His eyes on the Father’s will. The reality is, however, that this command is is not enough for most of us, even when we understand it and are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Suffering is inevitable and the enemy wants to create confusion, which can cause many to lose heart. And we often need the strength of others who will walk alongside of us in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. But the most important thing to remember is that He promised never to leave or forsake us, so keep your eyes on Him. This is the only way for the believer to live!

But then how shall we live? We will suffer and the enemy wants to create confusion, which can cause many to lose heart. The solution is to fix your eyes on the Lord Jesus. There is one way to live!

We Need To Pursue The Holy Life Jesus Lived

God called Adam to a simple life set apart to His will. When the Lord walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, he could enjoy any tree, except for one. Adam only had to separate himself from ONE tree. Every other tree was fine, but ONE. Likewise, much of today’s world is filled with violence and sin. For this reason we must seek to be separated from the world to the Lord.

There is only one person who perfectly accomplished this separated life – the Lord Jesus. While He was in the world, He was not OF the world. He ministered in the world, but never depended on the it. For example, when the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tested (Luke 4:1), He fasted for 40 days. You can imagine how hungry He was at the end of that time. And then Satan showed up and gave him the little urging, “Just turn this stone into bread and you’ll be satisfied!”

However, Jesus did not depend on the world to satisfy Himself, but on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. How did He react to these enticing suggestions from Satan? First of all, He responded to each temptation, “It is written.” The Lord Jesus depended on the truth and power of Scripture. Secondly, He was totally dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 4:1, the Lord Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and in Luke 4:14, He was led out of the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. In fact every time there was a miracle, Jesus was in dependence upon the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 4:18; 5:17; 6:19; 8;46; Acts 10:38; Heb. 9:14). When you pursue life according to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will live as God intended.

There is another important aspect that comes into play as we pursue the Lord – the need to be reflective and take personal responsibility.

Part 5 will be posted September 11, 2014.

Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 3

This is Part 3 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.

The Enemy Wants You To Suffer So He Can Confuse You

In the midst of suffering, emotional crises, or relational upheaval, it is hard to look at life objectively. I’ve watched this happen too many times in the lives of others as they face or recover from surgery, or become emotionally drained as they watch a loved one ebb away from life in death. We are composed of both the material and immaterial, and they are strongly connected. The physical affects the spiritual. Continue reading

Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 2

This is Part 2 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 3-6 will be posted on following days.

We Will All Suffer In Life

The point that we will suffer is nothing new, however. No matter what theology or philosophy you pursue in life, God has purposes behind every affliction! This is seen in the previous major section (Part Three). Stephen Bramer addresses Malachi’s message to Israel, where the Jews were instructed to understand the coming day of the Lord and how their suffering was part of the preparation to meet their King. He writes, “Their suffering could have come to an end had they recognized their King and responded to his offer. But they rejected him, and human suffering continued, as seen in the New Testament.”2 Continue reading

Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 1

This is Part 1 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 2-6 will follow tomorrow.

If we are going through suffering, does it matter, then, how we live? If we are going through affliction, trials and agony, then why not eat, drink and be merry (Greek Epicureanism)? That’s pretty good common sense ( from a humanistic standpoint, anyway!) and it has been around long before the Epicureanism of the Greeks.  Around B.C. 300, this ancient Greek philosophy, taught by Epicurus, emphasized the goal of happiness and the rejection of gods and an afterlife. It taught the axiom: Continue reading

Book Review: Making Peace with Reality by Jerry White

“Making Peace with Reality” is a well organized book by a retired military officer, who has trained with the best, seen the chaos of life and learned how to overcome the traumas of life to gain and sustain peace. God created us for the Garden of Eden, but the fall created the chaos that we live in now and human efforts only complicate that reality. Continue reading