I love to share my faith with non-believers and seekers alike, who have questions about the Christian faith, what we believe and why we believe it. In light of the postmodern perspective that many people adhere to these day, I would like to give a biblical perspective as a contrast to those who say that there is no absolute truth. I believe that the truth can be found in God's word the Bible. http://media4lifeministries.com
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Joy in the midst of suffering
Turning on the TV today, can make one down right upset. There is the
unrest in the Middle East and other places. People protesting, hating
and killing one another. The economy is in shambles, many are without a
job and can't find one. The government is making promises it can't keep
and wants the people to rely and depend on the government to fix
everything in due time. Many people have lost their hope.
world seems to have become a dark place and is getting darker every day,
as many are suffering in this time of uncertainty from a variety of
circumstances. Is there a way out? Will this world ever get better? How
much longer can it go on like this?
The world is struck with
perplexity, just as the Bible tells us. Everyday, there is something
reported in the news media that confirms that. The world has changed and
is changing by the minute. The world as we know it is dissipating right
before our own eyes.
Many people around the world are suffering
and the joy that once existed or what is left of it seem to go down in
flames. We are finding ourselves in a downward spiral. There seem to be
more questions than answers. There are more and more politicians with
their rhetoric proclaiming that they have the answers. Not!
Christian's today find themselves in the same dilemma as those who are
of this world. They have lost their joy in life. They seem to be
hopeless and are suffering because of it. Of course I realize that
Christians face many of the same problems as others do. Unemployment,
financial problems, health issues and many other things that come with
living in the 21st Century.
Here is my question in all of this,
are we as believer in Jesus Christ exempt from all the problems that are
in the world? Are we somehow shielded from all things? I think not, but
are we to lose our joy in the midst of all the suffering?
of all, let me say this, believers in Christ and His word should not be
surprised at all when looking at this world. Jesus was very clear about
how things will be in the last days. We as believers should be very
aware, seeing the signs of the time, that the end is near.
"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." Luke 21:28.
do see many of these things starting to happen, the birth pangs are
more frequent every day. The world is struck with perplexity. We are
getting closer. Look up!
"And there will be signs in the
sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of
nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; "men's hearts
failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are
coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Luke
In the meantime, we as believers should not
lose our joy. This world and it's pleasures and problems will fade. We
as believers have already eternal life, because we believe in Him Who
laid down His life for us. That is something we should and need to
rejoice in. This world is passing away, so why worry about these
temporal things, we need to see the eternal picture. We need to see the
world from God's perspective.
Of course we will have trials and
tribulations, our Lord told us so. But in the midst of all this
suffering, we should not lose our joy. Paul suffered a lot as did many
of the others that went before us, but they never lost their joy or
purpose. They had eternity in view.
"In this you greatly
rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been
grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being
much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire,
may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus
Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him,
yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
receiving the end of your faith; the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter
"For I consider that the sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly
waits for the revealing of the sons of God." Romans 8:18, 19.
"The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8.
are so many passages in the Bible, that speak of the joy within the
believer. We need to rejoice, even in these dark days with all its
suffering, both personal and in general. The joy of the Lord needs to be
in us on our journey to the promised land, the path that leads to
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10.
The book of Philippians is also called the book of joy. Read it and see how Paul rejoiced in the midst of suffering.