Why Does God Allow Christians to Suffer?

Have you ever wondered why those who are called into the family of God have to suffer so much? We have a dear brother in Christ who came to the Lord about ten years ago and George Davis and I got to baptize him in the local river after he knew he was ready to fully surrender all to Jesus. After that his life was constantly under attack by the enemy, even in his own home. Yet, in all this he drew ever closer to Christ. The Spirit would speak to him about a certain thing in the Bible and he would lock onto it until taught him what He wanted him to do in that matter. The last on of these was prayer. Bob became a “prayer warrior.” He would call me daily wanting to know what he could pray with me for. About two years ago he came down with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and went through much chemo-therapy and lost all his hair and was often in weakness and pain. The chemo stripped his body of being able fight of sickness and he ended up in a long term care hospital where he caught Covid 19 and recently died. We miss you, Bob, and will see you again on the other side, my brother. ❤

We have another friend who has gone through a few misfortunes in his life. He came from a broken home and his mother had to work to support the family, so he about raised himself, yet this made him stronger in that he also had to work as a child to help support the family. Even the recent loss of his dear wife he took in stride. He is like a cat, always landing on his feet. Most of these “misfortunes” (except the loss of his dear wife) have made him richer and more prosperous in the long run. He says he believes the Ten Commandments and has done a pretty good job of keeping them all and gives credit to that being part of why God has prospered him. This is interesting, but that is not how God has shown His love to me and of thousands of other suffering saints (see Hebrews 12:5-11). It is also interesting that this man cannot understand “how a loving Father could allow his Son to be tortured and die in such a bloody way as Jesus did.” The message of the gospel is foolish and offensive to him. This man is intellectual and spends hours each day reading scientific magazines and such, seeking the truth, but will not read the Bible “because it was written by fallible men and has many flaws in it,” as if scientific journals weren’t written by fallible men! Science is constantly having to go “back to the drawing board” when new discoveries prove their older theories false. The one thing lacking in our friend’s life is life changing faith in Jesus Christ, which is a gift that comes from the Father. This is what we are praying will happen, and he seems to be more and more open when the Spirit speaks through me as we visit.

As Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44, AKJV)

Paul stood before King Agrippa and laid out his whole story about his encounter with the living Christ, how the law and the prophets foretold of Him as the Savior of the world and all that He suffered and did. Paul knew that this king had a knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures. But what was Agrippa’s reply? “Almost you convinced me to be a Christian.” The God-given gift of faith was still missing in him and no intellectual argument could save him. In Hebrews we read:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, AKJV)

Paul wrote:

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, AKJV)

My wife once told me after we met that I was different from all the Christian boys she had met (She was raised in a Bible church atmosphere and even graduated from a Christian college). When we met I had a hunger for God but knew nothing about the Bible. My wife and her mother and my father’s parents were praying for me to come to Christ. Things got totally miserable for me and I later found out why. The “hound of heaven,” the Holy Spirit, was after me! I know exactly when this life changing gift of faith came in. It was the evening of June 12, 1970 after I heard the full plan of salvation and that God required an unconditional surrender if there was to be any change in my life. That night I went through a deep repentance and gave Him total authority over my life. What made me this desperate to do such a thing with this God that I didn’t know? Unlike our friend, when I got dropped I never “landed on my feet.” Everything in my life was a struggle and everything that I touched got worse, not better, and this included what I was doing in the lives of my wife and children. I was full of bitterness and self. You see, I grew up in a totally dysfunctional family. So after I graduated from high school I joined the Navy and ended up in the Vietnam War. I came home from the war to a lot of rejection and also had what was later called “post traumatic stress disorder.” These things affected everything in my life in a negative way. Yet, our Father had a plan in all this, and I came to see that this world is not my home, but God’s spiritual house is. Through all this He got me to look elsewhere and to seek the one that is to come. The love that my earthly father did no show me came through my heavenly Father instead. The forsaking of the one for the other brought about not only my salvation, but an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. (John 12:25-26, AKJV)

From the very moment of my salvation I wanted nothing more of what this world had to offer and that is how it should be if we are followers of Jesus Christ. You see, I lost nothing by the time I came to Christ and counted all that I once had as so much refuse. From that night when I surrendered onward, I wanted to be wherever Jesus was. If He was where two or three were gathered in His name, I wanted to be one of them. I had a honeymoon time with Jesus that lasted for months because I could feel His presence all day long. I soon found out, though, that following Jesus was not going to be all “puppy dogs and roses.” The world–and even worldly Christians–reject those who are no longer of this world. And Jesus said that if we are to be one of His disciples, we have to take up our own crosses and follow Him. Hmmm.

We know that Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered, and in that suffering, He purchased our salvation. The scripture even says He was made perfect through suffering and we share in His perfection.

For it was fitting that he [Jesus], for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, (Heb 2:10-11, ESV2011)

Satan tried to get Him to bolt out of the Father’s plan (see Matthew 16:21-23). But Jesus knew that there was a lot more at stake than His popularity among the Jews. In Romans we read, “…by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom 5:19, AKJV) and Jesus was obedient to the Father even to the suffering of the cross.

Suffering is integral to the overall plan of God. Consider this passage from Romans:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:1-6, AKJV)

Salvation is a process. Yes, we are justified in the eyes of God by our faith in Jesus and the work done for us on the cross, but there is more to the Father’s calling upon us than simple salvation from our sin-filled lives. God is after many sons and daughters who walk not only free from sin, but in the grace and glory of His Son. Jesus is the forerunner for us all in the overall plan of God. His life, death, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father was to lead the way for everyone God has called into sonship with Him as our Father. The above passage from Romans speaks of our earthly process that brings forth the fruition of what it means to be “saved.”

[1] We are justified by faith in what Christ’s obedience has purchased for us.

[2] Through this gift of faith from the Father we have access to the riches of His grace.

[3] Walking in His grace, we have hope that we might stand upright in the glory of God.

Here is where our part in the purification process begins. God puts a high value on our experience when it comes to salvation that we might grow up into the perfection of Christ.

[1] “We glory in tribulation.” How can this be?

[2] The tribulations we suffer work the patience of God into us just as it did in Job of old.

[3] And as we patiently endure our suffering and overcome by His grace, we gain experience. That experience gives us hope that whatever comes our way in the future, God is there with us to see us through just as He has done before.

In the book of James we read:

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (Jas 1:2-4, HCSB)

Jesus walked in the perfection of steadfast faith toward God on this earth. Our Father is after that same faith in us that we might “be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” in His eyes.

I would like to share the following excerpt from T. Austin- Sparks regarding Romans 5:1-6 and how important experience is to God:

In the New Testament, not only in statements but in many ways, experience has a very high place indeed in the work of God… The Lord places such great importance upon experience, and shows that there is nothing that can be a substitute for it, and that He Himself is prepared to take very great and serious risks with lives in order to work experience into them.

It does sometimes seem that the Lord is experimenting with us. Whether that is a right way to put it or not, what I mean is right. Because of its very great value and importance, the Lord is prepared to put us into situations in which the most serious consequences may develop, in order to get this one thing; for here is the heart of usefulness and value to Him – experience. [Note: Remember the parable of the four kinds of ground on which the seeds of the Sower fell. Not all took root and were able to deal with the trying times and offenses that came]

Experience with God is much more than knowledge. We may be very greatly informed, and have a great deal of knowledge, but, lacking experience, our knowledge will remain purely technical information. Experience is more than knowledge. It is also far more than human cleverness. Clever people may be able to do a lot of things and seem to be successful. The absence of this quality of experience will find that their structures will sooner or later come crashing down, for there is no body [substance] there. Experience is something that we can never inherit, nor can it be transferred from one to another in any other way; it has to be bought. It is therefore the sole possession and property of the individual who has it. It is something very personal. If it had been possible for the Father to bring His own Son, the Lord Jesus, to the designed and determined end in any other way, He would have done it. The only way was experience: “…yet learned (he) obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb.5:8); He was made “perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10). Even Jesus Christ (and I speak in a certain sense) had to buy His experience. He had to come to the full end, or the end of fulness, to be made perfect, made complete, by the way of experience.

The Holy Spirit, with all that the gift of the Spirit means of enduement and endowment and instruction and strengthening, is not a substitute for experience. We are very often found asking that certain things shall be done for us by the Holy Spirit which the Holy Spirit will never do. He has to lead us into experience. It is the only way in which He can answer our prayers. Many prayers are answered through experience. You ask the Lord to do something, and He takes you through experience, and you arrive at the answer in that way. You had not meant that, of course: you wanted the Lord to do the thing there and then as a gift, as an act; but that would have been merely objective, something given, whereas He wants to make it a part of yourself, and so He answers prayer by some experience. ‘Stedfastness worketh experience’, and if there is no experience, what is the good of anybody or anything?

So then, experience is of greater importance than being delivered from tribulation. ‘Tribulation worketh experience’. Oh, how often we have asked the Lord why He allowed this and that, or why He did not do this or that. Why did He not hinder Adam from sinning? Why has He not stopped the world in so many things that have had most terrible results? Experience is very largely the answer.

Experience is very important because, after all, it is the very quality of service. When we come to real life, and we are really up against things and the issues are of the greatest consequence, we do not want just information, we want experience, and we go where experience can help us. Is that not so? Thus experience is the very body and quality of service and usefulness to the Lord. [1]

Sparks brings up a good point here. Would you rather have a man fresh out of medical school do open heart surgery on you, or one who has years of practical experience in this field and a long track record of successful operations? This is the meaning of true eldership in the body of Christ–those who have experience in the ways of God and the ways of the devil, and have overcome in their own lives by the grace of God. True elders are not given that position as a reward, because they gave a lot of money to the church, or have worldly influence in the community. EXPERIENCE! Without it there is no eldership. The world is lacking leaders who have experienced and overcome all manner of trials in their own lives by the hand of God, and this is the same lack is in most churches today. Because of this the church and the world is in chaos where men deceive and are being deceived.

Father, do whatever it takes to make us your faithful stewards over all you would give us. Give us life changing experiences that You know we need. Take us through these necessary and trying experiences by your overcoming grace into the full maturity and measure you have for us in your Son. Amen.

[1] https://www.austin-sparks.net/english/001978.html

Note: all these pictorial quotes from T. Austin-Sparks can be found here: https://www.austin-sparks.net/quotes.html



22 comments on “Why Does God Allow Christians to Suffer?

  1. Amen to your prayer, Michael.

    I agree that experience with God is everything we need, my brother. Every new experience reveals us more of God and His character, that is, brings us closer to His Heart and to His Very Being. So, what more could one want? 🙄

    If we build our Christian life primarily on intellectual knowledge – which per se is not a bad thing as long as we sense God’s leading to delve into it – but without going through those necessary experiences, our hearts will remain empty as to Divine Love and we will have no compassion for all those people around us who are suffering. If the heart is empty, the head gets overstuffed, or in other words,

    “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” (1 Cor 8:1 NASB 1995)

    As for the question why God allows suffering, you answered it rightly by Jesus’ example. Since we should follow Him by taking up our crosses daily, too, we also learn obedience through suffering, obedience toward God Whom we should fear more than anyone else on earth.

    “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:28-29 KJV)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stacey Amolsch-Roy says:

      Amen! Love you Susanne!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Susanne, I have fellowshipped with you for the last eight years and one thing I have seen and prayed a lot about is your many forms of suffering. But one thing I have observed is how you have grown in Christ through it all. It has been like the time that Mary broke that alabaster box and poured that costly perfume upon Jesus. Some have observed your life in Christ and said, “Why this waste!” You could have made much money with your business accounting knowledge? Instead you spend your time at home wasting yourself on Jesus!” (see Matthew 26:6-13)

      There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. (John 12:2-3, AKJV)

      Our suffering as Christians has a purpose in the economy of our Father that the world does not understand. It is done to release the fragrance of Jesus who lives in us so it can “fill the whole house” of God. No wonder all our prayers are not immediately answered when we suffer. In Hebrews we read,

      For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11, ESV2011)

      Thank you Father for sharing Susanne’s life in Christ with us. Open our eyes to see the greater work you are doing in us as we suffer in this life. Amen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Michael… I was not sure how to answer this response by you. Thank you!

        Amen to your prayer, my dear brother. Praying for you and your pains/suffering, too!!

        Surely, from the outside it might seem like a sacrifice to give up a career and to stay at home instead. However, I never missed public life or business at all because Jesus pulled me away from this world, its interests and its distractions. The only thing God had given me to do apart from prayer and writing were tutor lessons on a non-regular basis all those past years, mainly in English, rarely in other foreign languages, and sometimes also in maths or physics. Of course, making much money was never the issue here. But tutoring was not a one way street, either, since Jesus also taught me a lot while I learned to teach others by walking in the Spirit with Him.

        It has been a learning process and I keep learning new things from our Lord every day. Just this afternoon as I got attacked a few times by evil spirits through other persons, Jesus kept reminding me to neither dwell on all those offenses nor to talk with others about it. Partly, that was hard for me because I really wanted someone to listen to me and to my latest experiences. I was truly struggling to obey Christ immediately by remaining silent when my husband came home. Therefore, I told our Lord about my inability to give up my intention to talk about IT. Out of the blue I saw our Lord to my right side in the Spirit, one or two steps before me. He looked at me, stretched out His hand invitingly, and said,

        “Walk with me and you will be free.”

        As soon as He had said this, I started to sing this verse, even more than once. 😉 Indeed, whenever I have been struggling to follow Him closely afterwards, singing these seemingly simple eight words has helped me a lot! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, I know this same longing to tell someone when another wrongs me instead of giving it up to God to deal with in HIS timing and wisdom. It is very strong. This reminds me of that prophesy about Jesus in Isaiah,

        “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.” (Isa 53:7, AKJV)

        When we excuse and defend ourselves, God has to back away. Someone said, “When we do a work in our flesh, He rests. When we rest in Him, He works.” How true.

        Jesus saying to you, “Walk with me and you will be free.” How profound! He also said,

        “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.” (Matt 11:28-29, AKJV)

        We can learn a lot from our Father’s perfect Lamb, especially when it comes to the attacks of the enemy and how to deal with them… IN Christ and in His rest is our victory. Thanks for sharing this reminder with me… I NEEDED IT!

        “And THEY SANG A NEW SONG, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’” (Rev 5:9-10, ESV2011 – emphasis added)

        Oh Jesus, fill our hearts with that NEW song instead of the same old whinny song of our flesh. Amen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My brother, I was happy to hear you NEEDED this reminder! 🙂 God is A MAN of few words, as you often say. But His words always accomplish that which He pleases (Is 55:11).

        You wrote,

        “When we excuse and defend ourselves, God has to back away. Someone said, “When we do a work in our flesh, He rests. When we rest in Him, He works.” How true.”

        Very good! ⭐

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless you Michael, for an inspirational and grace given word. God’s power and strength is within each of us, who experience rebirth into God’s family.
    Our experiences and how we handle them through the grace of God makes us stronger. And shows the world through Christ we are conquerers.

    Life is not always easy, at times very painful but through it all stands our Savior and the Comfortor.
    Prayers is a precious gift and the means to forge ahead come what may, for our loving Father’s arms are always stretch out to us. Fighting the good fight with us. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen and amen.

    Rejoice and be glad for the Lord has everything under control. Always looking up regardless of the world’s dysfunctional behavior. This is the day the Lord has made, lets find His richness in it.
    Be blessed always… And happy Thanksgiving… Aida

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Aida, for your encouraging comment and reminder of all that is ours IN Christ. Truly on this Thanksgiving Day we have so much to be thankful for.

      ​”The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118:22-24, ESV2011)

      THIS is the day the Lord has made!” This day with all it’s craziness, death and destruction, yet with His way of salvation leading us through it all by His Son, Jesus Christ.

      “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Rom 8:37, ESV2011)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stacey Amolsch-Roy says:

    Beautiful article! I feel as though this is happening for me. I am right now also recovering from Covid. I never thought it would happen to me. But I was suffering so much from depression and I just felt so abandoned and all kinds of self depracating thoughts for so many years. I wanted Jesus so much! To somehow touch me and Heal me mentally. I begged Him to take away anything that is not of Him. Then I got Covid. I became very sick but out of it came the praises! I was given a New Heart! Yes my oxygen levels became so low that it took a FB Bible teacher to speak with me in private to go to the Hospital. (I did not want to go) She warned me that I could suffer from Brain damage as she is also a Nurse by trade but retired. So I called EMS. I stayed a few days and learned while in the hospital to sing praises to the Lord! In the midst of my trials. I was in major denial of what this Covid could do. I also rejected a couple of the medical advice as I have researched for a couple of years on this thing. I thank God I did. I accepted other advice from the hospital though. (No Remdesivier or Ventilator!) I ate very well! No taste or smell still unfortunately. It will come. B ut since coming home I have been making melody in my heart. Have more compassion on others who are suffering from this thing. Shedding tears for other. Love being shed abroad in my heart of stone! I have been given a new heart! May the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you! Loved this article!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Oh, Stacey, it is so good to hear that He not only saved you from Covid, but has given you an NEW Heart and taken out of you that heart of stone. You sound so good. It sounds like you have come into the NEW Covenant that Jeremiah prophesied would be ours IN Christ,

      “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:31-34, ESV2011)

      Truly, “THIS is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Burgess Ken says:

    WOW, OH WOW! Michael, obviously you have had my house bugged, or we are more kindred spirits than either of us realized. Thank the Lord he never allowed us to follow after the teachers, preachers or pontificators for very long. Over time I have come to realize that being “hidden with CHRiST in GOD” is the ultimate in relating to HiM on HiS terms. I more clearly understand “suffering with HiM outside the camp.” Thanks you for always being open, candid and transparent. I truly love you dear brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      It is the unity of the Spirit in Christ, Ken, for sure. Like Paul said, ” when one member of the body suffers the whole body suffers.” The problem with institutional Christianity is it’s a “fractured fairy tale” and there is no spirit to spirit connection to bring this about. I have found a better connection with the saints of God who lived thousands of miles away than I had face-to-face in the churches I have attended.
      It is good to hear from you again. I hope you’re having a happy Thanksgiving there in Louisiana.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Allan Halton says:

    Thanks, Michael, for redeeming an old word for me. Experience. That’s something God can’t gift to us, we must go through trials in order to gain this, and trials mean suffering. God’s intent is to prove us and therefore approve us in them; that’s the more literal meaning of the word “experience” in the KJV of Romans 5:4. Approvedness. “And not only so, but we also rejoice in our tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh stedfastness; and stedfastness, approvedness; and approvedness, hope…” Rom 5:3,4 ASV). Some translations have “character.” As we endure in tribulations it’s proven character that God is bringing into being. Experience.

    I hadn’t noticed before how closely that word is related to the word “experiment.” Austin-Sparks wrote, “It does sometimes seem that the Lord is experimenting with us.” Indeed He is, and it’s interesting that this same word “experience” is translated “experiment” in the KJV of 2 Cor 9:13. “Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.” Here’s the ASV again: “seeing that through the proving of you by this ministration they glorify God…” This “experiment” was intended to prove something– the love and liberality of the Corinthians. That’s what a scientist does, isn’t it. He proves something by an experiment. Just what the Lord is doing with us with His great end in mind: a “hope that maketh not ashamed,” that is, does not make ashamed, does not disappoint, does not disgrace, because all through the process the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was (and continues to be) given to us.

    No wonder then, that God allows Christians to suffer, considering the eternal value of experience, of proven character in His sight. “Behold, we count them happy who endure.” Thank you for providing the grace, dear Lord, that enables us to glory in our troubles, severe though they be. For in the midst of them, your love is with us encouraging us on, and the hour comes when, in spite of many failings and falling short, yet enduring, continuing on, we sense Your beaming smile of approval and it is worth it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Amen to your prayer, Allan. Yes, He is proving us so He can approve of us in His Son. It is all worth it once we get on the other side of the pain and see the fruit of His handywork. We both know a lot of pain in our lives, my brother, but He is even getting us to rejoice in our sufferings because we have seen the fruit of it in past trials and pains we have gone through. Like the apostles observed,

      “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later [afterwards] it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb 12:11, ESV2011)

      “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1Tim 4:8, ESV2011)

      And sometimes we get to experience heaven on earth as the Spirit broods over us in fellowship with others IN Christ.

      Thanks for your edifying comment, Allan.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Allan Halton says:

    Thank you, Michael, for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. karld1 says:

    Thank you for the article.
    Christ is wonderful and suffering is part and parcel of our walk.
    I too was born again 12 years ago and had that amazing feeling where Christ was always close .
    But as we know ,this is not the path to God’s righteousness.
    My 3 year old daughter developed lukemia, and 9 years on she has had it come back 3 times .
    Her mother and me and family have been through hell ,with her being close to death numerous times.
    My heart is weary and my mind is jaded.
    Without Christ I could not go on.
    We are facing this again in 2022.
    I was a egotistical, self centred sinner before Christ.
    I can see the work in me through this suffering, and I thank God for his patience and love for me as I am a weak pathetic man.
    Without Christ I am nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Karl,
      Someone said, “God calls us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way.” His way of dealing with that old Adam in us is through “the fellowship of His sufferings” and by taking up our crosses and following Jesus. We also have had leukemia in our family. Our four year old great grandson came down with it about six months ago and the treatment has been painful and ongoing for him with little relief in sight. I know that it must be much worse for you, being your own child and living with that constant reminder of her suffering. God has to do some hard thing in us to tear down our pride so that we don’t drag our carnal ways into His kingdom when we “get saved.” There are way too many proud “Christians” in the churches today. I have come believed that we are BEING saved day by day FROM OURSELVES. As for weakness, that is a good thing, but hard for us men to accept when we think that we always have to be the strong ones in our families and before others.

      Paul came into the kingdom with a boat load of religious credentials and pride and came to understand the need of the cross to deal with it all. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2Cor 12:9-10, ESV2011)

      For me He has weakened me physically and made me have to rely on others for their help, something I had rarely done in the past for I have been quite skilled in many areas of work. I have two collapsed vertebra and deteriorating disk disease. Like Jesus told Peter, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (John 21:18, ESV2011)

      Yes, apart from Christ manifesting His life in us, we are nothing.


      Liked by 1 person

      • karld1 says:

        Thank you Michael for truthful kind words.
        Everything you mentioned in your comment I totally agree with.
        He has broke me down from being a egotistical prideful man.
        And it’s so true ,I am being saved daily .
        I love God for this because my path was hurt for everyone around me if I continued on my destructive path.
        I pray for your Grandson, it’s a hard road ,but with Christ by your family’s side , you are in the best hands in the universe.
        God bless you and your family Karl

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Karl, I remember when I first found verses in the Bible about how much God hates pride in man and how they rang true in my heart. The very first temptation perpetrated on mankind was the sin that of pride, “God knows that the day you eat of this tree you will be like God knowing both good and evil.” Satan is the father of pride and knows how to use it to deceive us…

        How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations!For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the farthest sides of the north:I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isa 14:12-14, KJ2000)

        I also had to be brought down because of pride more than once. First I had worldly pride and ruled over my family as my father had done to us until I saw how it was killing them. Then getting “saved” I took it right into my relationship with the body of Christ and tried to walk among them in an exalted position because of my “spiritual gifts.” I can look back now and see just how ugly that was in the sight of God, all the time thinking myself so holy. Aug! As He showed me this I asked Him to break me and to do whatever it took to get this sickness out of me and He did. I went through 14 years of spiritual wilderness as He went after everything in me that I had pride in… even my ability to hear His voice. I thank Him that he had given me a wife who stood with me while I went through total melt down, being stripped of everything I once took pride in… even my ability to support my family. I remember one “elder” in the church telling me, “Oh brother, watch out! Those are dangerous prayers.” Yet, David in Psalm 51 prayed just this way and he was a man after God’s heart.

        Thanks for your prayers. In humility ou are closer to God than you ever were. You and your family will be in mu prayers also, my brother,

        Liked by 1 person

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