Friday, March 14, 2014

Why Are You In Affliction? Is It Your Fault? Does God Care?

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4 NLT)

I am struggling with anger. I think it is a righteous anger but I am not sure what to do with it. It burns within me because people say the most ignorant things about suffering. I know this because I suffer very greatly at times with bodily affliction. It is an unknown illness that can get debilitating and some people have no idea how to handle it. 

There is a false thinking out there, that many of you have probably heard, that essentially states that the reason you are suffering with physical affliction is because of something you have done; either your personal sin or your lack of faith. This is not what someone needs to hear who is afflicted or who has a child with an affliction. It is not biblical and pushes Christ out of the picture completely.

Why is there suffering on this earth? The Bible tells us it is because of sin. The moment Adam and Eve chose sin, the world started decaying. Their bodies started the dying process. Sin also entered into the entire world and it seemed we were doomed. However, God already had a plan for our rescue, a beautiful plan that would redeem us from it in the end; yet now in the present we still feel the effects. We are living in the time period between Jesus defeating sin but not yet bringing us all the way home. 

God uses suffering in our lives as testing and purging in our lives. The goal is to become more and more like Him. We must decrease so He can increase. The end goal is not healing (though God has the power to heal us in His mercy) the end goal is knowing Him and making Him known. 

Do we suffer because of personal sin? Yes of course we do. Every choice we make has consequences. However, when a simple tick bite shock my health that was not because of my personal sin. When a child is born with an illness or debilitating condition, that is not typically because of personal sin. The fact is, we live in a fallen world. Things are breaking down, creation is moaning for Jesus to return and so are our bodies.

We do not remain sick because we lack faith. It has nothing to do with it. The fact is that God is in control of all things so if He allows us to face affliction of any kind it is hard, yes, but more importantly it is an opportunity for us to grow unto completion. Do not get caught up with those who desire healing over maturing. God is good and He will with hold no good thing from those of us that belong to Him so if we have been chosen to suffer it is for good. We must keep our eyes on Him and trust His grace is sufficient for us. He will be shown strong in our weakness. 

Do not buy into the lies people speak about this. God loves us too much to let us remain the same. He is working us to completion. He will complete every good work He starts. He will equip you for every good work He gives to you. 
 
In trial, the evil one tries to divert your focus off of God, through people or self-focus, but what is great is when your focus is stayed on God anyway. And know even if your focus fails for a bit or a while, He is waiting, you will refocus and come forth stronger if you trust His sovereign will over all things. He is good no matter the circumstances. 


How do you keep your eyes on HIM? Get into HIS word. It changes everything and washes those thoughts that are not from Him and those spoken lies right off of you. It is a beautiful thing when a worshiper can say, "He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." May it be true of us! Do not forget we are living in a battlefield. Our enemy is not the people I am angry with, it is the evil one, he is the true enemy; the one who deceives. 

This earth is not our home. Our home is Heaven if we are in Christ and in Heaven we will have no pain, sin, suffering, or trial. Our home is forever with our Savior who took all our sin away if we trust in Him. We deserve nothing but He gives us this gift which is everything! So I can trust Him with this anger. I can pray those people who are insensitive will see the truth of His word. And just maybe my affliction or your affliction is bringing that about. Praise His Name!

Pray: Lord, help us to keep you in our continual gaze. In trial especially help us to believe you are good and love us fully to the point of dying on the cross for our sins. Lord, thank you! Help us become less and see these afflictions as opportunities to grow toward maturity. May we decrease and you increase. In Jesus Name. Amen.

~ Angela Parsley

2 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful, biblically sound, encouraging post. Thank you for your transparency and courage. I will definitely share this with others. I know some people who condemn Christianity because they have been misguided regarding the suffering of God's children. This may shed some light in a dark place for some of them. Thanks again and DITTO. God bless you as you endure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Denie! May God grow us all more and more in His wonderful grace and truth! :)

      Delete