(By: Norm Rasmussen) 


Suffering in the life of a Christian can be expected. It is the normal experience, no matter how much we dislike admitting it to ourselves.  

Between Satan's on-going attacks against us now that we have become his full-blown enemy since becoming saved (spiritually born again) -- God refining us and purging us of our sinful, selfish nature to conform us into the obedient likeness of Jesus Christ more and more -- and simply the affects of sin upon the human race that both sinners and born again saints are subjected to, suffering comes lot and parcel with being a Christian.    

What can intensify a Christian's pain is KNOWING that God has the power to stop (or at least greatly minimize) their suffering, yet often chooses NOT to.  

One of Satan's most effective perverted lies (attacks) He likes to constantly try to keep imparting to us so we'll begin believing it is: "What's the point of trusting God anymore? Didn't you become a Christian to have greater blessings in your life? Where are those blessings NOW?"

There are ways to help minimize the mental suffering many Christians experience simply by having a change of mind, and I've come to realize near the very top of that list is the wisdom of understanding the importance of coming to that place where we say and mean within ourselves this simple declaration:

'God ' I don't care WHAT You allow to happen in my life from this moment forward, because I'm going to keep thanking you and praising You simply because it's the wisest thing I know to do! Please reveal to me anything You want me to learn through this trial, this suffering, so it's not wasted pain, but nothing changes the fact that my number one goal and purpose for living is to glorify You.  o glorify You requires daily obedience to You. Yet I am soberly aware that my desire to OBEY You dwindles quickly without making THIS the most important brick in my spiritual foundation which is being built on Jesus Christ my Lord:  

'No matter what You allow to happen in my life from this moment forward, I'm going to keep thanking You and praising You, Heavenly Father.'  

The Christian who will make that vow to themselves and mean it daily will dodge a great deal of unnecessary suffering in their relationship with God, because it slams a HUGE DOOR for Satan to have room to come into our mind to begin questioning the goodness and wisdom of our Lord and Savior on our behalf. 

Thus this daily declaration is a very wise spiritual weapon against Satan that stops him dead in his tracks every time he tries to put a wedge between us and God, and my friend, Satan ever seeks to do that every moment of our lives on this planet!  

I believe God wants Christians to learn from the Old Testament book of Job primarily THREE things:  

1)  God is sovereign in what Satan is allowed to do. It has always been that way and will always remain that way.

2)  The source of afflictions Christians suffer from come a whole lot more from Satan than what so many realize, and NOT God.  atan wants us believing just the opposite, because he gets so much more 'mileage' out of it. (From God's perspective, there's a HUGE difference between what He purposely SENDS or CAUSES - vs what He ALLOWS!)

For instance, God never CAUSED Satan and a third of the angels at some former time to rebel against Him, but because He gives His created beings free will, He allowed them to rebel, just as He does you and I. Satan would like to deceitfully change our thinking by trying to get us to believe that God didn't just allow it, but PURPOSELY CAUSED it, but not so at all. He does the very same thing when it comes to our suffering. He never wants us believing God is allowing us to suffer, but rather, PURPOSING for us to suffer.

Loving parents will try to teach their children to make wise choices, but if they come to realize that we aren't interested in listening to their wisdom, let alone showing our obedience in demonstrating it ... then they painfully realize that we disobedient children need to suffer some from our mistakes (learn the hard way) before we begin demonstrating some willingness to stop walking in rebellion to their loving wisdom. God deals with us in like manner. He knows what is good for each of us at any given time, but because we have a selfish, sinful nature in us that has not been broken, and the "wild stallion" in us would rather do things our way rather than be told or made by someone else us what to think and do.

(Some "wild stallions" would rather die in needless pain doing things THEIR way instead of being disciplined by a Master who will relieve much of their pain if a willingness is shown on their part to be broken of destructive self will.  [God isn't trying to break any of us to make choices of our own. He simply wants us to realize that He doesn't desire anything of us that isn't ultimately GOOD for us, and if He doesn't know what is ultimately GOOD for us, how possibly can WE if we'll be dead honest with ourselves? We need to remember who made who? We didn't make Him. He made US.] What does a horse trainer/owner eventually do with a wild horse that refuses to be broken? Discarded in some way. Hell is the place where all unbroken "human wild horses" end up who have chosen to remain untrainable by THE Master/Owner, their Creator).  

3)  As Job wisely concluded in his declaration recorded in Job 13:15 (Albeit a bit pridefully self-serving in his lack of understanding that it is God's imputed righteousness to us in Christ that is to be our 'defense', not our own righteousness): 'I'm going to keep placing my hope and trust in God my Creator no matter what He allows to happen in my life, because He is THE all powerful One who has control of my eternal fate and I purpose to trust Him with everything in my life instead of trying to somehow persuade Him I know what is better for me than HE knows what is better for me.

Not only does He have control of my eternal fate, He also Has all power to start blessing me immediately, or withhold blessing. Perhaps His desire to bless me or withhold blessing hinges primarily on my determination to thank Him and praise Him in my pain, NO MATTER WHAT.

Suppose? Suppose that might be the place He is trying to bring us all? The place He's been trying to bring us all our born days?

So let us consider this possibility. Could it be that I'm suffering needlessly and I can motivate God to stop some (or a whole LOT) of my suffering by simply having a change of mind in what I make my purpose for living from this moment forward by declaring to myself that I'm going to thank Him and praise Him and purpose to keep obeying Him from this moment forward no matter WHAT He allows to happen in my life?  

I know I've made it MY purpose now for living, (though it's taken me close to 30 years to discover the wisdom of doing so since being a Christian, though I know it's been my pridefully selfish nature that has stood in the way of being able to receive this understanding!) but I've also come to realize that without appropriating the strength of Christ being released in and through me, I'll fall way short often.  

Without realizing that I must purposely and diligently appropriate the strength of Christ to continuously operate in my life, there is not enough power of my own to back up my declaration.  


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)