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Saturday, February 26, 2011

God's Relationship to Our Suffering

Job 2: 7-8

Continuing our earlier topical discussion on suffering and the righteous; today our objective is to answer two questions which are, what is God's Relationship to our suffering and what victory do we have over suffering? Let's answer the first question by reflecting on the beginning of Job when a meeting was being held in heaven and Satan crashed the party. God gave Satan permission to afflict Job. What this tells us is that God is in control and all situations are under His permissive will (Job 1-2). 1 Corinthians 10:13 also reminds us of God's promise that He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear.
Second, God has promised to bring good out of suffering for all who love Him and obey His commands (Romans 8:28). Look at Joseph and how he suffered and was blessed by God for doing so (Genesis 50:20). Hebrews 12:5 reminds us that God will use our pain and suffering for our growth. This is because after we have come through the fiery trials of suffering we have a story to tell.
Third, there are scriptures of God promising to walk with us through "the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4, Isaiah 43:2). Let's be mindful of His all sufficient grace as it is enough to stand with us and comfort us in the time of troubles. He promised never to leave nor forsake us and He does so through the presence of the Holy Spirit--our Comforter.
Fourth and foremost, we have a high priest in Jesus Christ who feels our pain and hears our cry because He "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4). Isaiah 53:5 states that "He was wounded for out transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." What this means is that there is healing in our suffering, because Christ bore it all.
With that being said and knowing that Christ has overcome the world and all that is in it, we then have victory over our suffering. This is the short answer to our second question, but we will look at some reasons why we have victory over our suffering, which are;
(a) We must identify the reasons for the suffering and ask this question, where do I fit in the identified reasons, then take necessary steps to correct the situation.
(b) We must remember that God cares for us deeply as shown in what He has done for mankind. We must never allow our suffering to cause us to turn away from God. His spirit is with us and is there to comfort us during these times.
(c) We must turn to God in sincere pray believing that He does answer the prayers of the righteous. While praying to God, we must learn patience and how to wait on Him because His time differs from our time. Whenever He comes He is always on time.
(d) We must remember that God gives His all sufficient grace which is adequate to bear all of our burdens, afflictions until deliverance.
(e) We will find comfort in reading and mediating on God's Word as there comforting scriptures written especially for comfort. Some are Psalm 11, 16, 23, 27, 40 46, 61, 91, 121, 125 and 138.
(f) While reading and studying God's Word ask for divine revelation and discernment as it relates to your particular situation. God through His word will give us a better understanding for the suffering.
(g) Remember Christ warned us that we will suffer if you are a believer in Him (John 16:33). Believers have an assured hope of a future where God will wipe away all tears. There will be no more crying, death, sorrow or pain (Revelation 21:4).
In can be concluded then that God cares for us even in the midst of our suffering and is with us through the Holy Spirit. We have victory because Christ have conquerored all; therefore, we are conquerors.
Our next topical discussion will be on divine healing.
Comments are welcome.
Author's contact:
wwhite@goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com, www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com , Facebook.com and Twitter.com.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Suffering and the Righteous

Job 2:7-8

For the next two weekly discussions, we will focus on suffering and look at why the righteous suffers. The book of Job is a teachable book that teaches many valuable lessons regarding righteousness by depicting the life of Job. The background on Job is that he was a righteous man who lived during the age of the patriarchs. Job 1:1 states that Job "was perfect and upright man one that feared God and eschewed evil." Fearing God and turning from evil was the basic for Job's uprightness, just as it is for us today.
The two important character traits that are seen in Job are his moral integrity (perfect) and his wholehearted commitment to God (upright). These character traits highlight rightness or belief in God's Word that was depicted in his thoughts and actions. Believers are to have the same character traits.
The question becomes, if Job was so righteous, why was he allowed to suffer? First, let me just say that our faithfulness to God does not guarantee or shield believers from suffering. The Bible has many of God's faithful warriors who suffered. Joseph was one example, David, Jeremiah, Paul and our lesson character Job. The reasons why believers suffer differ as there can be many reasons for suffering. Let us example some reasons why believers suffer:
(a) Believers suffer ongoing consequences of Adam and Eve's fall.
(Genesis 3:16-10). Death, pain, sorrow and conflict invaded the lives of all humanity. Romans 8:22 speak of "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Paul's message is threefold in that creation itself is groaning (v 22), believers (v 23), and the Holy Spirit (v 26) is feeling the effects of sin and long for the time when the new earth and heaven will be re-established. Believers are to respond to the weight of sin by clothing him or herself in God's grace. His grace is sufficient.
(b) Believers suffer for the same reasons that unbelievers do, which is the consequences of his or her own actions. Galatians 6:7 tell us that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." What this means then that we as believers must continue walking in God's grace and Word as He has provided the Holy Spirit to guide us in the right way.
(c) Believers sometimes suffer because of ones inner self. We live in a sinful and corrupt world and temptation surrounds us daily. As believers witness the effects that sin has on the world in which we live we tend to become stressed and anguish over the power sin has on so many lives. What must believers do? Believers are to make intercessory prayer to God on the behalf of others and this sinful world.
(d) Believers sometimes suffer at the hands of Satan as he is the god of this present age (2 Corinthians 4:4). Job is the perfect example of the righteous suffering at the hand of Satan when he-Job had done no wrong. Satan was allowed to afflict Job from head to toe, but he wasn't allowed to touch Job's soul (Job 1-2). What must believers do? Stand like Job. Believers have God's body armour (Ephesians 6:10-17). Wear it well.
(e) Believer suffers because it is Satan's delight to persecute Christ's followers; because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Satan's mission is to destroy God's kingdom. He had no win, but he keeps trying. Believers must stand firm on God's Word and trust in Him as Christ has overcome the world.
(f) Scripture gives us the most positive reason why believers suffer, because we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Furthermore, being that we are Christian believers we are in Christ and share in His suffering (1 Peter 2:21). Romans 8:17 states that believers are in Christ, to be one with Him; we share in His sufferings. Rightly so, because Christ suffered and died for the sins of the world. Christ was glorified so we will in the end (Romans 8:17). Let me just say that Christ wept and agonized over the City of Jerusalem and their refusal to repent and accept salvation (Luke 19:41) we too are to agonize over "humanity's sinfulness and lostness" (KJV).
(g) God uses suffering in the lives of believers for several reasons, and they are: (1) it acts as a catalyst for spiritual growth and or change. This is because God knows our faults. (2) Faith testers. Suffering and trials will increase faith in God, because in situations beyond our control we will learn to depend on God for His deliverance. (3) God allows suffering to help believers grow in our Christian character and righteousness. It is His righteousness that the world must see. It is noteworthy to say that through suffering we learn patience. (4) God allows suffering so that from our experience we can encourage others who will experience pain and suffering. These are teachable moments.
(h) God allows suffering of the righteous to further the cause of His kingdom and plan of redemption. Look at Job and others who suffered for Christ's sake. The gospel message was spread and the church grew.
Christ suffered so can you and I.
Comments are welcome
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Friday, February 18, 2011


John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Today we will discuss the subject of love and ask the question how deep is your love? Our scripture text depicts the depth and breath of God's love that He gave His very best for humanity. What we know about God's love is that it is unconditional and is everlasting-agape love. The question now becomes, What can we give in return for God's unconditional love? What God ask of us is to give Him is the best of our service which is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service ( Romans 12:2). God also, asks us to love one another as self. We are to share the good news of the gospel of Christ with others. In obedience to God and His love we will willingly do as He asks.
Love as God loves-unconditional and even while we were His enemy. Love surpasses all boundaries.
Comments are welcome
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Monday, February 14, 2011


1 King 18: 42b-45

And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.

What is prayer? Prayer is Christian's communication with God. Many scriptures offer other definitions for prayer, such as "lifting up ones soul to the Lord" (Psalm 25:1). Psalm 3:4 describes prayer as crying out to the Lord with our voices. Hebrews 4:16 discusses prayer as the ability to come boldly to His throne of grace. Hebrews 10:22 discusses prayer as when we pray we draw nearer to God.
Now that we have established a working definition of prayer, let's look as some reasons all believers should pray? First, we are commanded to pray as this command was issued by God Himself as recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:11 and Psalm 105:4. Jesus Himself prayed (Matthew 26:41, Luke 18:1; John 16:24), the Psalmist, Prophets, and Apostles, they all prayed. Therefore, prayer is essential to establishing and maintaining a meaningful fellowship with God. He wants a fellowship with His people. In obedience to our Father, our prayers become a daily part of our walk with God. Our prayers become effective as our hearts become more in tune with God and His will.
Second, prayer is essential in receiving His blessings, power as well as receiving the fulfillment of His promises. On the day of Pentecost prayers were being made and the Holy Ghost came in a mighty way. Paul and his companion were bound in prison and held a midnight prayer meeting; the result is God delivered through an earthquake. The Roman jailer and his household were saved. Just look as a prayer answering God! Prayer warriors prayed for Peter's release, God answered.
Third, we as believers are to make intercessory prayer for others. This is because in many instances some things will not be accomplished in God's kingdom without the intercessory prayers of believers. Then too believers are to be sent out into the world to harvest souls for Christ and a spirit-filled prayer life is essential.
If the question were raised, What kinds of prayers are there? There are prayers of adoration, adoring and praising God for who He is and what He has and continues to do in the lives of mankind and especially fellow believers. There is the intercessory prayer where we pray for others. Prayer of supplication is one making our petitions to God, then there is prayer of thanksgiving, thanking God. Prayer of confession is confessing our sins to God and asking for forgiveness.
What make for an effective prayer? An effective prayer is one that sincere, honest and done in true faith. Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that "what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." James 1:6 encourages all who pray to "ask in faith, nothing wavering." These verses authenticate the fact that faith is essential to an answered prayer. An effective prayer is one that is in agreement to the will of God and His Word. Aligning our wills with that of God's and His Word means that we are living in harmony with His will and in obedience to His Word. 1 John 3:22 talks about effective praying when prayer is keeping God's commandments, therefore, "whatsoever we ask, we receive of God (Him)." We pray with authority by asking in Jesus name. Jesus said in John 14:13-14 that "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."
What if an unbeliever prays? The unbeliever must repent. This is because the prayer cannot continue to live in sin and pray for God's blessing. As stated earlier prayers must align with God's will. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God promises to hear, forgiven their sin and heal their land, but they must repent and turn from their wicked ways. This holds true for all who is less committed to following God and obeying His commands.
Lastly, to be effective in our prayers we must be both persistent and faithful in our prayers. What does Matthew 7:7-8 says? It teaches perseverance in prayer through asking, seeking and knocking. Persevering in prayer are those that are powerful and effective. The Bible is filled with examples of such prayers.
Faith, sincerity, aligning our wills with God's, asking in Jesus name and persistence is key elements to effective prayers.
Comments are welcome
Author's contact
www.Facebook.com/williewhite, www.Twitter.com/williewhite

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

God's Body Armour

Ephesians 6:10-18

Believers are equipped with God's body armour to withstand the fiery darts of Satan as we continue carrying the gospel message of Christ to lost souls of the world.

Believers' body armour consists of having our loins girded with truth as only God's truth will stand. Having on the breastplate of righteousness as this is the righteousness of God. Having our feet shod with preparation of the gospel of peace. This peace is from God that the world neither gives nor understands. The peace of God is unshakeable even in perilous times. Jesus said in John 16:33 "I have overcome the world." Be at peace. Believers have on the shield of faith. Faith is the essence of ones salvation and our faith enables believers to withstand the evil forces that we are sure to encounter. Believers have on the helmet of salvation and have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Lastly, believers are equipped with the sword of the Spirit-the Word of God. This is our offensive weapon used to take the fight to the enemy-Satan.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Believers we are well-equipped for our spiritual warfare.

Comments are welcome
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Time and a Season For Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Our scripture verse tells us that for everything there is a season all to God's plan and a purpose for our lives. What must we do? We must give our lives to God as holy sacrifices unto Him so that He may accomplish His plan for us. If we fail to listen to the Holy Spirit we will miss God's timing and His purpose He has in store for our lives.
Verse 2 tells us that there is "a time to be born and a time to die." All believers are born into a new life in Jesus Christ, because we died with Him to sin. What season are you in? Planting time is sharing God's Word with others.
Comments are welcome.
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