The standard that this world has set in being religious is such that, God’s pleasure is measured as per man’s feel good factor. The god of this world and its religions is nothing more that the appetites of men, where the stronger the appetite, the more powerful is the god.
What I would like to touch up on today is: suffering. Suffering is something every person goes through but it is the reason for which we suffer and how we take it in stride that actually reflects our relationship with God. Suffering is something God puts into our lives for good reason. We can suffer either as being punished for wrong or we can suffer for standing up for the right thing but the world has reached such a state that it is rare to see the reprobate suffering even as their punishment.
1 Peter 3:14, 17
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
Suffering has a variety of uses in the will of God, it can be used to bring repentance (Rev 2:22) or it can be used to teach endurance (Rom 5:3). Suffering has been known to make people humble (2Ch 33:12). Either way suffering comes from God, like does everything else, which all meets His purpose.
2 Corinthians 12:7 (Apostle Paul)
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me–to keep me from exalting myself!
If worshiping God, was measured by only how good we felt then one may come to wonder, how much of God is involved in that worship. Suffering on the other hand is a sacrifice seen in a servant who exalts a greater cause which is His Master over himself; a Master who well deserves this glory. This suffering is a form of worship but must not be mistaken for suffering that is self inflicted for such suffering does not bring the humility that God desires.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
We know that even Christ suffered but He did so to fulfill scripture, to the glory of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:48), for as the Son of God, He glorified His Father (Romans 6:4) and from His Father received glory (John 8:54) of being the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29), by being the first to be raised from the dead (Col 1:18). Though He was without sin, His perfection was through suffering and death, to the will of His Father.
For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Heb 2:10 beautifully shows the Oneness in the Triune God because it displays the extent of seamless harmony in the will of these Three Person of the Godhead (Father Eph 1:11; Son Mat 11:27; Holy Spirit 1Cor 12:11).
There are many people to whom God is nothing more than a state of bliss, to most of them God’s Sovereignty does not extend over sin and evil; and to tell people like these that God is Sovereign concerning all suffering too, is something that does not go down well with them. However observe these same people in a state of trial and notice how they temporarily come to grip the reality of God’s Sovereign hand behind all their woes. Apparently when the affliction passes, many a times, so does their realization, because this seed is soon picked off from the soil by the birds or trampled underfoot.
19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
From the scripture of Proverbs 17:3, the word for “test” is ‘baw-khan’ meaning: to make trial. So you see this forthcoming of Silver and Gold can only come from those in whom the Holy Spirit brings a circumcision of the heart.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.
and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
So if you are suffering today, what you need to ask yourself is this:
Is this your call to repentance unto Christ?
Is this for righteousness sake to the call of His glory?
Is this Him imputing faith in your trial coming out as Gold?