by Pastor Art Kohl
April 17, 2005
C.S. Lewis once said, "Pain is God's megaphone to arouse a slumbering world."
Pain comes into our lives in different forms. The pain of a death of a close one. The pain of a divorce or failed relationship. Physical pain from an accident or disease. The pain of rejection. The pain of a business loss or set back. The pain of disappointment by someone we looked up to. These can really hurt!
These pains are very real. Sometimes "Oh, just get over it" doesn't work.
What can we do when suffering?
Here are a few suggestions from a biblical view:
1. Give thanks to God
It sound absurd, but if we begin each trial with a prayer, thanking God for this suffering, we change our focus from negative to positive.
We are assured in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." If you love God you have His promise that this is going to bring something good into your life.
2. For comfort, read the Psalms of the Old Testament
Through different men, God wrote Psalms and put them in His Bible. These were often born out of suffering. God giveth "songs in the night" (Job 35:10).
You will find that you are not unique. Others have suffered in similar ways and have found help in God.
The Psalms are like medicine for the soul. Take it.
3. For understanding, read 1 Peter of the New Testament
This book especially deals with suffering and understanding.
It is not wrong to ask "why?" Even Jesus asked "why" while suffering on the cross! (See Mark 15:34.)
The key is to ask "why" with a right spirit and then let God answer you. One book that might do that is 1 Peter.
It would be a shame to go through some trial of affliction in life and never learn why.
4. Plan on using it to help others when it comes to pass
Much suffering is preparatory. It is God's way of preparing us to minister to others we will meet down the road who are going to go through similar experiences.
They may need to lean on you someday.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
5. Memorize 2 Corinthians 4:17
Perhaps memorization is difficult for you, but try! This verse forces us to look beyond the immediate, into the future. Here it is:
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"
Though we can't see it, except by faith, much of this life has to do with the next life. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:" (2 Timothy 2:12)
Sometimes God just wants to hear from us, His creatures. He wants us to see our frailty and how much we need Him. Ask the Lord to help you through this time and to make you a better Christian. This may require repentance and some deep soul-searching (see Psalm 119:67).
7. Look for the Lord
There are "glimpses of God" that you will never see except in the valley experiences of life. It will be worth it all as He becomes clearer to you than ever before.
Copyright © 2005Permission granted to freely copy.Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
by Pastor Art Kohl