SUFFERING

SUFFERING

GOD TOLD EZEKIEL HE WOULD LOSE his precious wife, and he would not be allowed to publicly mourn for her. It was a sign to the people that the coming destruction of Israel and the temple would be so devastating the people would be unable to show the usual expressions of sorrow. Ezekiel’s obedience must have been his most difficult task as God’s prophet. Though experiencing great loss and sorrow over his wife, he had to continue to prophesy to rebellious people. He was sharing in God’s suffering, for God Himself was about to lose His people, His city, His temple; just as Ezekiel lost his precious wife.

What does this mean to you? Being faithful to God is costly. I have learned to never say, “God would never do that to me.” We are called upon to “share in the sufferings of Christ”“For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:5, 7‬ ‭“We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:10-11‬ ‭

Whatever God asks me to go through, He Provides the strength for. There is an erroneous teaching that says, “God will never put more on me than I can bear”. This is from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Let me explain what it means. Paul had just told them how he had to make every effort to run in the Christian race, and how terribly their fore-fathers in the wilderness had failed to meet the requirements of God. These believers because of great opposition and affliction might be inclined to throw up every effort in despair. Paul, therefore, reminds them that these temptations were not superhuman, but were such as men had resisted (in the past), and such as they could resist presently. From the warning and exhortation of the previous verse Paul passes on to words of encouragement, “You need not be hopeless or despairing.”

God permits the temptation by allowing the circumstances which create temptation to arise, but He takes care that nothing bars the path of retreat. With each temptation he makes a way to escape from it.Please don’t fall into this trap saying, “Why is God giving me more than I can handle?” When trials, pains and affliction come to us all and even more suffering comes to those in Christ. Look at the life of Job. He lost everything in a day. Everything. I am fairly certain that most people would faint if that happened to them. No friend.

God gives us the strength to overcome anything that the world or our enemy throws at us. But it’s up to you to decide where you turn to for your strength and if you take His way out. Charles Spurgeon said this, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages”. One of my favorite quotes. Whatever afflictions come my way, it’s an opportunity to draw nearer to the only true source of help and strength.

I have told the Lord that if affliction keeps me at His feet, then I’ll live a life of affliction. I don’t want anything in my life that has the potential to draw my heart away from my Lord and Savior. Where do you run when the oceans rise and thunders roar? When the enemy comes in like a flood? Will you be thrown against the rocks and suffer loss or thrown against the Rock and find strength? Sufferings, pain, afflictions and trials come to us all, but the strength to endure is only found in the LORD.#runyourrace

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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