Today I feel that the Holy Spirit is guiding me to start a new series about perhaps one of the most ubiquitous topics that we face on a day-to-day basis. Specifically, this topic focuses on both suffering and perseverance and their critical importance in our lives, particularly as Christians living in an increasingly broken world. Throughout this first entry (1 of 4 in series) I will attempt to provide linkages between suffering and perseverance, relying on God’s Word, in order to emphasize their respective levels of significance in the Christian life.
To begin, I will identify what the Scriptures tell us regarding the value that suffering has in the Christian life.
The relevant Scriptural Text here comes from Romans 5:3-5 where it tells us the following:
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Always trust in the Lord!
The unfairness of life is commonly held knowledge in this fallen and broken world. Paradoxically, bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. The beauty of surrendering your life to Christ is not that suddenly bad things no longer afflict you, but rather that God wastes nothing with these bad things. Even during our darkest and seemingly hopeless times we are able to trust in God’s perfect timing that our sufferings and afflictions(all things) will be redeemed working for our good (Romans 8:28). One excellent example of this is how God redeemed the most heinous form of evil, the crucifixion of His Son Jesus Christ, into our means of salvation and where He is able to be eternally glorified. Continue reading
Anxiety is an area of my life that I have continually struggled with. Although I have certainly come a long way from my high-school days where my anxiety was at its peak, anxiety loves to try to re-gain prominence in my life at the seemingly most inconvenient of times. What I find particularly intriguing about the Scriptures is its repeated reference to trusting in the Lord rather than being afraid. Jesus Himself spent a good portion of His earthly ministry towards communicating the futility in anxiety which is definitely rooted in fear. Strikingly, fear does not only lead to anxiety but it will also typically result in a paralyzing-fear of pursuing godly risks essential to our faithful obedience to God(See COMPLACENCY HINDERS OUR JOYFUL OBEDIENCE TO GOD).
Unequivocally, those with faith in God must contend with doubt from time to time (Mark 9:24). What is most important is how we respond to doubts particularly when they target our salvation. Casting doubts into the believer’s mind is easily one of Satan’s most effective weapons as evidenced in Genesis 3 when Satan introduced Eve’s mind to doubt. Think about it for a minute…if Satan is able to cause us to doubt our salvation, or to create a lack of confidence in His Word, then his spiritual attacks are able to gain traction, which cause us to become more vulnerable to temptations.