Our response to God's call has not removed all of our suffering. However, responding to God changes the reason for suffering and what it can accomplish.
Mike Ford, ruminating on the folk maxim, "When you're up to your neck in alligators, it is hard to remember that your goal was to drain the swamp," draws the corollary "When you're up to your neck in trials, it's easy to forget you are in tr. . .
As we saw in Part One, Hebrews 5:7-10 describes a facet of Christ's suffering: "... who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications ..."
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience, and how do we come by it?
Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we mus. . .
Of all people, one might think, Christians should be the most blessed, yet they often fall under heavy trials. However, the reality is that God is putting us through the paces, correcting us and refining us, to bring us to salvation.
Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.
Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on the. . .
David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preac. . .
When Job was afflicted with physical problems, he learned that God was using them to perfect him. Afflictions are intended to bind us together.
John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (R. . .
God uses trials to test our hearts, but He never places a trial before us to tempt us. God uses trials we bring on ourselves to draw us closer to Him.
Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.
Affliction is a necessary aspect of life, yielding strength of character, while ease and comfort weaken us. Christ was perfected as High Priest through suffering.
Martin Collins, reiterating that Romans 8 provides assurance that we are of God, asks us to consider that the sufferings we go through now are miniscule compared to the glory which we will later receive, completely eclipsing the glory of Adam and Eve befor. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) throu. . .
Despite the many blessings God bestows upon His saints, real Christianity more resembles a running battle against persistent, hostile forces than a leisurely stroll down the path of life. John Ritenbaugh uses the example of ancient Israel in the wilderness. . .
Only John records Jesus' healing of the man born blind, which shows Christ calling a people for Himself despite the efforts of the Jewish leaders to deter Him.
John Ritenbaugh addresses three foundational principles: 1) God's omniscience (knowledge of what is going on everywhere); 2) God's assurance that even though we have trials, they all have a niche in His overall purpose;, and 3) God's continual providence i. . .
Clyde Finklea, acknowledging that life is full of good and bad times, directs us to learn the lesson of Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, to rejoice when times are good and to reflect soberly when times are bad, realizing that adversity or suffering is a tool that God. . .
Martin Collins, realizing that most people, both outside and inside the church, crave assurance , avers that we can have assurance that we are God's heirs and offspring if we are led by the spirit, remaining on the sanctified path of fellowship, growing co. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's appraisal of money in Ecclesiastes 10:19, suggests that modern Israel seems to have great difficulty managing money because of an addiction to greed. Wealth, without a powerful character, is a destructive drug. Unfo. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Apostle Paul, in this prison epistle, conveyed to the Philippians his optimism that the apparent misfortune was actually a blessing, actually enabling Paul to magnify his effectiveness, enabling more fruit to be borne. P. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.
John Ritenbaugh reminds us that if we do not know who we are and where we are going, we are destined to undergo continuous stress. If we yield to God's manipulation of our lives, we will handle stress constructively, developing a relationship with Him, bea. . .
Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that our national holiday Thanksgiving may be a parody of what God intended should be our understanding of thankfulness. Rather than something we do annually, we should be returning thanks several times daily. Thankfulness equip. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, asking why Christians should ruminate about sorrow and grief instead of focusing on happy thoughts, reminds us that death and suffering are staple features of the human condition and that we need to learn how to handle grief and loss, t. . .
Martin Collins, reiterating that Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ, moves to the climactic point of the narrative in Genesis 45, in which Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Joseph knew and recognized his brothers before they knew him. God knows our gui. . .
If we are not receiving God's correction or chastisement, we should be concerned! God's chastening is what He uses to sanctify His spiritual children.