by Minister Keith Evans
Suffering is one of the most difficult subject to teach, let alone to anticipate as a Christian. Much to the chagrin of the majority of Believers, we don't want to go through anything as Christians in this life!
There's an erroneous philosophical ideology that has stymied the faith of myriads of Christians, because of this detrimental concept. It's called, "TRANSACTION MODEL", which teaches that if you live good, you won't experience hardship! Hmmm! Transaction Model also teaches that as long as you be super spiritual, pay your tithes, work within your local assembly everything is going to be alright! And that's with NO TRIBULATION!
This is the proverbial mainstream doctrine unfortunately in some of the mega churches being taught. The Bible, God's word emphatically vetoes and prohibits such teachings. It is unequivocally and fundamentally the antithesis of Biblical Christianity. The emphasis of Scripture sometimes seems to emphasise persecution to a certain degree. 1 Peter 3:16-17: "Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accused your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing."
Can I suggest to you that when you're living right, and doing right is when trouble finds it's way to you? A rhetorical and not a conspicuous question at all. 2 Timothy 3:12: "Yeah, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution."
If there's a guarantee in this life as a Christian it is you'll go through the storms of life. But the blessings are having Jesus with us during tumultuous and turbulent times. Isaiah 43:1-2: "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by My name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame Kindle upon thee." What a remarkable, phenomenal promise! The gist of this promise is absolutely ironclad and rock solid, to say the least.
Listen, I'm not a proponent or protagonist for suffering. I wished it was a bed of ease on our way to Heaven. Hallelujah!!! But that's not what the Bible endorses. The grassroots of Biblical Christianity are rooted in suffering! You have time? Ok, Paul was decapitated! Peter and his wife, both crucified upside down! Isaiah hewn in two! James the Just stoned! Stephen was stoned! Almost all of the original Apostles we're killed for the exception of John the Revelator, who was covered in tar and abandoned on Patmos to die!
I'm not trying to exacerbate the horrid stories of tribulations to you, however, being brutally honest with you is a must! We have to attune to this disposition as we walk with Jesus. Remember, NO CROSS, NO CROWN! 1Peter 4:12-14: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified."
The aesthetic design in suffering will ultimately result in God's glorification in you. But as Christians, we must be resolute and pertinacious in the concrete faith of the Gospel. The concomitant of tribulations will come, but TROUBLE DON'T LAST ALWAYS! Hallelujah! God is good!
In a vacuum, the troubles to be considered are minute and miniscule when compared with the monolithic God we're serving. Psalm 34:3: "O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalted His name together."
God uses tribulations to fine-tune His Church. Hmmm! Malachi 3:2-5: "But who may abide the day of His coming? And who may stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire, and for some. And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and Purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift Witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of hosts."
Tribulations will come, but God is bigger than your situation, really is! Like I was saying, God will use tribulations to cleanse and fine-tune the Body of Christ. Too many naming Him, but not really identifying with Him as it relates to their lifestyle.
In contrast Christianity is really all about Jesus Christ! So we must resemble who He is! There is a phenomenon scientists call "Convergence in Appearance", whereas people after spending ample time together look alike. Especially married couples who spend years together began to look alike, act alike, etc. Jesus said in John 14 that he who had seen Him have seen the Father. He wasn't implying that He Himself is the Father, but bears the characteristics of His Father. So when you saw Christ, you see the Father.
Pain seems draconian most times, but pain is necessary!
For prayers and comments email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.