Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suffering and God’s will

"Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God's will entrust themselves to a faithful creator, while continuing to do good." ((1 Peter 4: 19)

Sometimes, it is God's will for us to suffer. The reason could be to share in the sufferings of Christ for our own salvation and that of the world. I have heard some radio and television evangelists proclaim that it is never God's will for us to suffer. This posture is a great disservice to the truth of the Bible.

How do we know that a particular suffering is God's will for us? The answer is simple. When we look for internal evidence from the Bible, we see two good examples:

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ was confronted with awful suffering. His human nature dreaded it. He prayed to God: If this is your will, save me from this suffering. But if it is not, then I am prepared to go through it. We know that it was God's will for Him to suffer the crucifixion.

St. Paul the Apostle was tormented by a painful suffering that he called 'a thorn in the flesh." Three times he prayed for healing. On the third occasion, he got an answer from Christ: "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 2:9)

When we have prayed earnestly about a particular suffering and tried all we can legitimately to lift it but can't, we know that the suffering is from God. St. Peter advises us in 1 Peter 4: 19 that when this is the case to "entrust ourselves to a faithful creator." This means to surrender the situation entirely to God.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Watch and Pray

"For the time has come for judgment to begin with household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4: 17)

Judgment will begin with the household of God. Judgment will begin with the Church.

Testing may begin from the family. Be prepared. Trials, temptations and troubles will begin within the family, from within the Christian Churches. Be prepared. Be sober. Watch and pray.