Suffering is something that most people will avoid. Oswald Chambers writes in his book, My Utmost For His Highest: “To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s will even if it means suffering is a very different thing. No obedient Christian ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. No believer dare interfere with the discipline of suffering in another believer. The people who do us the best good are never those who sympathize with us; they hinder us because sympathy enervates.”
No one can understand a believer but a believer who is close to Christ. If we accept the sympathy of a believer the reflex feeling is, “Well, obviously, God isn’t dealing with me.” That is the reason Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for you do not know the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23).
Be sensitive to God’s will for your life. It is easy to reproach God’s character because very seldom does He answer back. He will not vindicate Himself. Beware of the mind that Jesus needed sympathy in His earthly life. He refused sympathy from man because He knew that no one on earth understood what He was after. He took sympathy from His Father only and from the angels in heaven.
It appears that God, according to the judgment of the world, wastes His children. Often, He plants His children in the most useless places. God plants His children where they will glorify Him most. And we are not capable at all to know where that is. God knows what He is doing. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. He always submitted to His Father’s will.
Suffering can do several things in a believer’s life. First, it can burn out the dross and lead us to a greater life of holiness. Second, it can burn in the promises of God which will lead us to more dependence on His Word. Burn it will, but should cause us to look at what the burn is for.
Francis I. Anderson wrote, “Men seek an explanation of suffering in cause and effect. They look backward for a connection between a sin and present suffering. The Bible looks forward in hope and seeks an explanation, not so much in origins as in goals. The purpose of suffering is seen not in cause but in its results.”
Suffering can be like knowing a foreign language; because, things that we usually take for granted in a normal flow of life must be thought through in a new way during a time of suffering. For those who have lived with suffering, a door of ministry is opened wide to a world of hurting people. It is obvious that they can relate in so many ways. For example, “Jesus was made like us so He could be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people for in that He Himself suffered being tempted, He is now able to help them that are tempted.” J. C. is pastor of Joy Christian Ministries W. Sac.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.