Our town contains many people that are fed up with Christianity due to what they perceive as unfair treatment of God to His people. I spoke with a man the other evening who mumbled, “I have no time for God. Look at how He permitted my Dad and Mom to suffer after they had served for many years, enduring privation from even the necessities of life. Then their church people deserted them!”
The litany of such events is long and well documented. God never promised us a rose garden! The deprivation of things the world holds dear, is often the lot of those who love Jesus and those who are loved by Him. We must keep in mind the suffering of Jesus Christ at Calvary on our behalf.
Along this line I was deeply moved by this from Corrie ten Boom who suffered at the hand of Hitler in his concentration camps:
Corrie Ten Boom observed: "Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. ...I was very discouraged ...and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. 'No, Corrie,' said Betsie, 'He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word...'" Corrie also shared what she had learned from her experience: "There is an ocean of God's love available-there is plenty for everyone."
Augustine wrote, “God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.”
The literature of Christendom is the literature of pain, suffering, and deprivation, as points of identifying with Jesus Christ. Corrie’s piece is helpful to all who will receive it, for she knew the truth, that suffering in the name of Jesus is never without His noticing and never without a higher purpose than our earthly comfort.
Joseph, betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery confessed to them:
"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20 (NKJV).
May we learn the discipline of suffering gladly for Christ’s sake!
Copyright © 2018 Larry Lilly
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