Tuesday, 16 November 2021
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. -Romans 8:18
Real Christian life is always mingled with joy and suffering in their right proportions- because this is the way kept for all of us to reach the eternal place of rest. The writer of Hebrews tells us: Hebrews 12:2-3: “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Our Leader and Lord have endured such suffering, of which we are called to be a part. Without the Cross, there is no Crown in heaven!
Alas! In today’s Christian world, we hear less and less about suffering. Instead the stage is set for everyone to go and buy instant remedies for the problems through miracles and wonders. Besides, evangelization based on prosperity theology has undermined the real message of the Cross across the masses in this world. This is dangerous and needs to be countered with.
Why is the cross or suffering allowed? This has been a puzzling question for many Christians, including each of us. The very simple reason is that God is preparing us for something much better which is not of this world. People try to find solace in this temporal world but the reality of God’s promises lies beyond our natural realm of vision or understanding. God and the whole of heaven are working on our behalf to get us there. So for us to voluntarily heed to this upper call, we need to be uprooted from our own comfort zones in this world. This can only happen when we are passing through troubles and sufferings. Sufferings make us more desiring after eternity. Until then we will be short-sighted regarding our eternal destination. This is why God is allowing trials and tribulations for His elect in this world. As we read in: Romans 5:3-4: Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Our hope is eternal life with Christ in heaven!
Let us examine how Abraham was called by God and how he has perceived it. Genesis 12:1: “Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And again we read in : Heb. 11:8-10: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Abraham, called the Father of Faith is an example of how he lived on the earth trusting God when he lived in tents and moved from place to place. Like Abraham, let us lead a life of sojourn in this perishing world, not putting our trust in the things that perish but allow God to prepare us for eternity through what we go through in the present life. Consider the present sufferings as a preparation for a life in eternity.
Promise: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)