I received an e-mail message from one of our members about a
week and a half ago, and received permission to reprint portions of the
message. The portions that are in
parentheses is my additions to the message.
Here it is:On Saturday night I wanted to read the Bible, since we
hadn't really read the Word since we have been busy. I just sat down in
front of the TV and opened my Bible. I had been thinking and worrying,
wondering why this (suffering) was happening to us? I got this answer to
my question and I didn't search for it, it was just there.
1 Peter 4:1. Forasmuch then as Christ
hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.
I read through the chapter ending in verse 6 and skipping over to verse 12.
("Beloved, thing it not
strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange
thing happened unto 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 . . . Yet if any
man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on
this behalf.") I then read all
the way to verse 17 - 19 and I understood.
("For the time is come that
judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what
shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where
shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the
keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.")
We are not immune to hardships, disease or infirmities just
because we are Christians. I always assumed that we would have some
divine protection. We go through the same things as everyone else; it is
our attitude and willingness to do the will of God that separates us. See
also 1 Peter 5:10. ("Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that
He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for
you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may
devour: whom resist stedfast in the
faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that
are in the world. But the God of all grace,
who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have
suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Actually, 1 Pet. 6-10.
(The Amplified Bible says, "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace
- Who imparts all blessing and favor - Who has called you to His [own] eternal
glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be,
establish and ground you securely, and strengthen (and settle) you. To Him be the dominion- power, authority,
rule - forever and ever. Amen - so be
it." 1 Pet. 5:10-11.)
I also pondered why God would create us if he has so much
power over us? Are we just mere puppets? Why give us intelligence and
reasoning only to pull the strings? Remember our discussion about Judas and Pharaoh,
who never had a chance? He then gave me this word:...................
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who
hath first given to him! And it shall be recompensed unto him again? For him,
are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
He then gave me Romans 9:11 and showed that even before a child was born, he
loved one and hated the other. Read all the way to the end and the
questioning of God's actions were the same ones I had in my mind that are in
this chapter and He answered me.
The fight against our desires of the flesh are never ending and will not end
until we are perfected, as Christ was perfected through his trials and
sufferings. When we went through the waters of baptism, that is what we agreed
to in order to attain the highest reward.
Not only Light of the World Missions, but Christians all
over the world are going through sufferings in order to purge and perfect
them. It is the will of God. Not everyone will go through the same kinds
of trials and sufferings, but everyone will.
Perhaps it will be persecution, imprisonment or some other trial. We need to clearly understand what God is
doing so that we can lift up holy hands in thanksgiving and praise as we give
Him glory. Attitude is important. When we praise Him instead of murmuring and
complaining, our perfection in Christ will come sooner.