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12/14/16 – Every Christian suffers through devastating events in their life

Written by Carlton L. Arnold

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1Peter 1:6-7

Do you live your life based on faith?  I think it is extremely difficult for Christians to easily call on their faith to sustain them during very trying times in their lives.  Financial problems, health issues, aging parents, sick children, and the death of loved ones are some of the most heart wrenching times in a person’s life.  How can a person suffer such devastating incidents and maintain their faith?  Without some glimmer of hope, depression and despair will consume the life of a person going through rough times. 

Where do people go for faith?  Some people attempt to forget their sorrows through alcohol and/or drugs.  This only allows the person to temporarily “forget” with no lasting hope found in this way.  Some people attempt to replicate moments of happiness that will replace their sorrows.  This is also temporary, because these moments only last so long.  Eventually, the sorrows return and, along with it, even worse depression and despair.

On and on, we try to do anything to remove our sorrows and return to a hopeful perspective.  We begin to believe that we deserve to be happy and content all of the time.  We can easily begin to believe that God should protect us from devastating events.  We shout at God that faith should not be so hard for us to have.  The problem is that our thinking is “self” oriented.  This is why we try to think ourselves out of depression and despair.  However, I do not know of any human initiated solution to our own sorrows.

The verses above are clear that our lives should be full of rejoicing.  These “greatly rejoice” attitudes are based on the new life that has been made possible through Jesus Christ.  However, God knew that greatly rejoicing would not be possible when you suffer grief during the trials in your life.  God’s answer during these times is faith.  This faith includes a resurrected life when you will live with Him (and those loved ones who are no longer with you.)  This faith includes a time when there will be no more tears or sorrows.  Your body will be raised imperishable with no pain.  Jesus himself will give you crowns and rewards. 

Therefore, as a Christian, you can live through suffering with a “self” attitude, or you can live through trials with the faith that God has given you.  You have to decide if God’s promises are worthy of your faith.  If you choose to live your life based on faith in God’s promises, then your faith will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  The full revelation of Jesus Christ will be far greater than any of the momentary sorrows of our life here on this earth.  “Rejoice, for your Savior has come!”

NOTE: Next week, “God’s Love for you in the Old Testament”

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