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9/19 We all face Afflictions

As we continue with our discussion on the Heart, one of the issues we need to address is why pain happens in this world.   Both our heart and mind need to think through the issues so that pain doesn’t through us off our faith.

1. Pain can be God’s gift to us because pain gets our Attention.

With the world’s way of thinking, it is hard to understand this statement: Pain is a gift of a loving God to Mankind. Think of the times when only the intense misery of pain caused someone to find the Lord Jesus.

2. No one escapes Affliction!

When Creator God thought through The Greatest Rescue Plan in History, He didn’t guarantee absolute pain-free life. In fact, Creator God knew that letting the Plan unfold, pain and suffering were going to be the natural outcome of life on Earth.

The word “affliction” comes from an Assyrian word meaning “a form of torture, of slowly putting rocks on a victim until they died“. The New Testament further extended the meaning of affliction to include “the pressures and stresses of unfavourable circumstances which befall a person’s life”.

3. Testing comes with our Covenant with Jesus, ‘the Baptism of Fire’.

When we were ‘born again’, we signed a ‘contract’ with Jesus.  Whether we realised it or not, we agreed to allow Him to make us more like Him, Philippians 1:6, 3:10. This process of sanctification refines “the stuff‟ out of us. He builds up our faith, but faith is a muscle that needs to be exercised, Hebrews 11:12.

4. Pain is part of life.

With or without Him, we will have pain. Having pain is not an option. It’s how we handle the pain that counts.  There is nowhere to hide from pain. Some pain can be avoided, if we learn to walk with the Great Teacher. However, some pain is unavoidable. He wants to walk the (sometimes painful) journey with us, to build up our faith and trust in Him.

Some Reasons for Affliction:

  1. Persecution for the faith’s sake, John7:7, 2 Timothy 2:9, 1 Peter 2:20-23, Colossions 2:1, 3:13.
  2. The ‘curse’ we inherit from Adam, of living in a sin-sick world. There is death and decay in the Earth because of the iniquity of our ancestors. We can activate these ‘tendencies’ by our own actions (Proverbs 26:2).
  3. Breaking God’s natural laws: wrong diet, risk taking, etc.
  4. Breaking God’s spiritual laws: wrong thinking patterns create inner turmoil, physical disease, these often comes from our own idolatry.
  5. Carrying other’s pain in a false burden-bearing role, or taking an offense on another’s behalf.
  6. The enemy’s plans and attacks against us, 2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 6:12, Matthew 5:25-28, 18:21-38. We need to discover the legal rights he has.
  7. Not discerning the Lord’s body, judgement and criticism against others, especially our parents, 1 Corinthians 1:29, Ephesians 6:2.
  8. The testings and chastisements of the Father – Romans 8:28, 1 Corinthians 11:32, Hebrews 12:6, James 1:3, 1:12. We need to learn the difference between the enemy’s attacks and God’s testing.

God is dealing with our idols, Ezekiel 4:4.  We live with the consequences of Adam and Eve’s rebellion to God’s love. We have inherited Adam and Eve’s rebellious tendencies because they first broke God’s law. Again, we need to be careful to distinguish between Satan’s legal rights to attack us, and when Satan is being used by God to chastise us.

Conclusions:

Matthew 16:24-28 suggests a peculiar journey: “Anyone who intends to come with Me, has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering, embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you the how.” (from The Message)

Creator God is the Master Gardener. He uses all the circumstances that come our way to prune, chasten, guide and teach. He is after the best possible ‘rose’ in you.  Fertilizer, pruning, insect control and so on, are all needed for this process.

 We may not always understand why things happen, but we need to process things by knowing the nature and character of God.  Some things we will never know … but that is why trust and faith are essential when we try to fit together the puzzle pieces of life.

 Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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