It’s only been a month since I returned from my 2 1/2 month stay in Africa where my son, daughter-in-law, and newborn grandson serve as missionaries. And I am still processing the numerous lessons I was introduced to while there. But there’s been one on my mind that continues to surface on a regular basis.
One of the conversations I had with my son as he was helping me get through a difficult time was the conflicting attitude many Christians here in the U.S. seem to portray. It has to do with our attitude towards suffering.
SUFFERING? Nope that’s not for me!
If I have lived my life as a good Christian should, then God will bless me. And if something bad happens to me, I am going to pray and get as many as I can to join with me, asking God to deliver me from this bad thing.
Please notice the following excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, p. 38
Ever noticed how reluctant we are to suffer for Christ? When someone gets sick, we automatically ask God to heal. Take the suffering away and we deprive ourselves from learning how to handle suffering and as a result grow more like Christ. Does anyone think that this life can be lived without suffering? Not really, so why do we recoil from it when it comes our way?
Life can’t be lived without experiencing difficulty. Yet the fiery darts persist in trying to convince us that if we live our lives as a good Christian should then our lives will be blessed and that should result in an easier life. I don’t really think any Christian would say they believe such nonsense, but by the way we ‘recoil’ from suffering and automatically begin praying to be delivered or be healed, I think we are acting as if we do. You think?
We want an easy life, or at least that’s what the fiery darts will try to convince us of. But we experience salvation, the hope of eternal life, abundant life in the here and now–and the list goes on and on–JUST BECAUSE someone was willing to suffer on our behalf.
Be ever so careful my dear ones when hard times come your way. There’s a sweetness in that trial that will only be tasted as we submit our wills to God and trust Him to work it all out for our good. (Just like Romans 8:28 says)
James 1 encourages us to count it all joy when we suffer from trials and tribulations. Why? Because there is something lacking in our lives and if we will only cooperate with God as we go through these trials, then whatever is lacking will be supplied by that trial.
Oh, I can just hear that fiery dart being whispered in your head about now.
“Are you kidding me? Whatever it is that’s lacking, I’m sure is something you would rather live without, right?”
You see, the fiery darts want to cloudy up your thinking so that you won’t remember verses like Jeremiah 29:11, where God reminds us that His plans for us are good plans that will give us a hopeful future. The Holy Spirit reminds us, we have to cooperate with God as He works out those plans.
Are you going through a hard time right now? As God to help you identify the fiery dart thinking that is keeping you from identifying the power God supplies you with to be victorious. As a matter of fact, refer to p. 79 in my book and learn how to attack the fiery darts that are designed to pull you down so you will know NOTHING of the victory God has planned for you in that trial!