Job 1:8- And the Lord said to the Adversary, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and an upright man, who fears God, and avoids evil?”
SUFFERING-Pathéma in the greek. In english it means suffering, affliction, passion, emotion or an undergoing. That which befalls one.
Suffering! Who likes it? If we could be honest for a moment and tell the truth, none of us like to suffer. Indeed, suffering is one thing we all HATE to go through, but it is a part of the process and one of the many vehicles that God uses to conform us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
We do not like the feeling of pain nor the thoughts that comes to our minds when we suffer. But, when the suffering is over we are happy about getting through it because we see the strength, wisdom, hope, joy and of course, the testimony that we have gained from our suffering.
After I have suffered a little while, I often find myself saying "I have learned a lot from that painful experience and I am glad I went through that, but I do not want to go through it again." Can I get an amen on that?
Have you ever been there? Wondering why all the pain and suffering? It is in pain and suffering where we learn to persevere and endure.
I have learned to expect suffering time and time again for it is a part of the journey, saved or unsaved.
It is in pain and suffering that our faith is not only being strengthened but our tolerance for pain and suffering is being stretched.
Let's listen to Romans 5:3-5- Not only so, but we also boast in tribulation, knowing that tribulation produces patience, 4 patience produces character, and character produces hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
In our sufferings, could it be that it happens because God has bragged on us? Can God brag on you?
Pain and suffering is a part of life. None of us are exempt from it. Believe it or not, it is every man's "lot". Different types? Yes, but we all will get our fare share in this life. If you say "not me, I don't ever go through suffering", you are liar and the truth is not in you.
Of course, there are many reasons we suffer, but one of them is surely because God allows it for our benefit and His glory.
Remember Job? Scripture declares that it was God who gave satan permission to attack Job. Did you hear that? God gave him permission. The enemy can not do nothing to us that God does not allow to happen.
God is Sovereign and in control of EVERYTHING! Nothing happens without His fore knowledge of it nor His permission. He can make things happen and He can stop them from happening. Why He allows what He allows and stops what He wants to stop? HE IS GOD!
One prime example is our text on today. This text is a part of a story that is told about a meeting in heaven with God and His angels and satan shows up to the meeting. Yes, even satan has to answer to God.
God questioned Him as to where he has been and he replies in Job 1:7-"Where have you come from?" the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, "I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on.
God replies to satan by bragging on Job in Job 1:8-Then the LORD asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless--a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil."
Even satan is under God's control. He had to seek permission from God to attack Job and he has to seek permission from God to attack you and I.
God allowed Job's suffering and He too will allow us to suffer. Like Job, our faith too will be tested. Like Job, we too CAN NOT allow the pain and suffering to cause us to waiver in our faith in God.
Job had lost 10 children, all of his live stocks, his servants, his health and even his relationship with his wife who told him to "curse God and die." Yet, in the midst of all that Job had gone through, here is what he said concerning God.
In the midst of pain, suffering, loss, all at the permission of God, Job chose to remain faithful instead of bitter for He said in Job 1:21-"I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!"
Can God brag on us? Can we brag on God in the midst of our sufferings?
What are you saying about God as you suffer? What did you say about God when you were suffering? Was it "blessed be the name of the Lord" or "Lord, why are you allowing all these bad things to come upon me"? What are you saying to God? What have you said to Him in the midst of your suffering?
I would rather suffer with God than to suffer apart from Him in torment from the enemy. With God, there is "hope" in suffering.
Without the test, trials, struggles and sufferings of life, we will never grow spiritually. We will never know what God is able to do on our behalf if we never go through anything. We will never be able to say, "let me tell you what the Lord has done for me" if we never suffered through anything. No test, no testimony!
People of God, we will suffer, but the key is to keep the faith and keep trusting God in the midst of it. Stay in the Word of God and keep praying.
2 Timothy 3:12-Yes, and all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Job 14:1-Man who is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
John 16:33-“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
Yes you may be suffering right now and satan may be trying to convince you that you will never get out of it, but God will see you through.
1 Corinthians 1:13-No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God's Word declares that He will give you a way of escape. Trust God to work on your behalf by keeping hope alive. Keep reading your Word, keep praying, keep believing, keep trusting God in knowing that you will have "JOY" after this.
As the old adage goes "no pain, no gain"! Our "spirit man" needs exercise too and sometimes exercising can be very pain the day after or even several days afterwards.
Are you currently suffering? Scripture says this concerning you. Psalm 30:5-For His anger endures but a moment, in His favor is life, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Your present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed when Christ returns.
The season of suffering comes and goes for all of us, but one day God promises us that suffering will be no more. Revelation 2:14-He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Our assurance on today is that God will do just what He said concerning His people.
HOLD ON people of God! Help is on the way. God gave Job double after he had suffered a little while.
People of God, we WILL have JOY after this!! Our pain and suffering will be rewarded by God Himself.