There are a lot of things we do not understand about suffering. Many of our questions go unanswered but there are some things we can know.
We can know that God knows all about our suffering (Psalms 56:8).
We can know that God understands everything we are going through (Hebrews 4:15).
We can know that God truly cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Suffering hurts. We don’t want to suffer. But it will help us to know that there are at least five benefits of suffering for the Christian.
1. It tests our faith (Jam. 1:2-4). If we meet our trials with faith, we will develop the patience needed to mature spiritually. It is when our faith is tested that we grow and become strong. So, we can rejoice even in our trials. Do you remember how God tested Abraham’s faith in Genesis 22, commanding him to sacrifice his son? Can you imagine a greater test of faith? Hebrews 11:17-19 explains what Abraham was thinking. He believed God would raise his son from the dead. That is a great faith. Do we have the faith of Abraham? Will we trust God enough to do what He has asks of us? God wants to know if you will keep faith even in the greatest tests of life.
Most denominations that profess Christianity have used and continue to use musical instruments in their worship. Today, more and more churches of Christ are joining them in that practice. Many don’t think it matters to God and others think it’s what God wants. So, here are a couple of thoughts that I have found in the Scriptures for us to consider.
“Listen to your heart.” “Follow your feelings.” “Trust your gut.”
But, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
That’s right! The heart lies. It lies better than it does anything else.
It is not just wicked. It is desperately wicked. It is as evil as it can be.
You cannot really know what is going on in your heart. It may lead you, unknowingly, to your own destruction, as Proverbs 14:12 warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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