Just think about it...the Lord Himself suffered many things while He walked this earth. The ultimate suffering he experienced was death!
There is no way to be a true follower of Christ and escape some type of affliction! Pain and suffering are part of the calling for Christians. "All who live godly will suffer persecution", the scripture tells us.
No one enjoys suffering on any level for any reason, but because Christ was hated and rejected, scorned and disowned, lied on, spit upon, targeted unjustly, and arrested, we too must expect the same.
Psalm 34:19 states, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." There's one thing we can always respect God for and it is the fact that He never leaves us in the dark about what we can expect from following Him. So, the next time you find yourself in a trial, crisis, or affliction of any sort, ask yourself this question, "Why shouldn't I be suffering?"
We each have our particular crosses to bear! It may vary from person to person, but none the less, a challenge when it comes to enduring it. It isn't easy by far. It hurts, it can even seem scary. You feel as if you're all alone in your circumstances. What about when the affliction is suffering at the hands of family members, or even Christians? Yes, it is possible to be oppressed and targeted by those who call themselves believers! That is one of the worse types of suffering to experience. God allows specific things for you and I to go through. He doesn't cause it, He allows it. He knows what it will produce within us, for His honor, and glory, provided we endure.
Afflictions show up in the form of:
There's a list of things that can fall under each of those headings. They are all very difficult to endure.
God is always looking to assist us in growing spiritually. Unfortunately, as much as we enjoy happy times, and an undisturbed lifestyle, it doesn't develop Christ's character in us like afflictions do. That's just a fact! Trials and afflictions prepare us for greater things. It's in those times that we come to learn who God really is. We get a closer glimpse of Him, differently to the last time He tried us.
Afflictions prepare you and I for greater service within the body of Christ. We are now more valuable to God and to others. The Bible comes alive in a new way because now we have insight into how those verses really work. Some of our favorite scripture texts hold fresh meaning and we are connected to its interpretation in a real way.
I don't enjoy trials or afflictions, but when they come, I pray for strength to endure. That is key! The process of it all makes me draw very close to the Lord.
Following Jesus comes with a price tag! He has the power and will enable you to go through the storm and come out with a victorious testimony, so hang in there!!!