Wednesday, June, 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM | by asmith
If music is the universal language and love is the universal emotion, then suffering is the universal experience.
The storms of suffering will come your way in many forms. Your storm may look like a lost relationship or a lost job. Your terrible tempest may include financial reversals or a health crisis. When it hits, you will ask, "Where do these stinking storms come from?" and "Can my suffering fit into God's plan?"
One of the great benefits of Christianity is adopting a Jesus-centered worldview which helps make sense out of suffering. Jesus declared, "In this world you have will tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) In this far-reaching statement Jesus reveals two truths about suffering: (1) You will crash into it. (2) God will win!
You will encounter tribulation and suffering that stems from three primary sources: the devil, disasters and disobedience.
The devil is a real personal force for evil who wants to hurt you. The devil even tempted Jesus so be assured the evil one will hunt for you. When you follow Jesus through the Bible He is constantly battling demons and attributing sickness and suffering to satanic forces. Do not discount satan's reality and activity. Satan's job description is to "kill, steal and destroy." You need to understand that the devil authors an immense amount of suffering.
Another source of suffering is disasters. We live in a fallen world that is dangerous and unpredictable which makes life fleeting and fragile. On the jagged journey of life, you will be bloodied and bruised when your path crosses those inevitable disasters. There will be tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires, famine, babies born with deformities and every type of disease in our flawed environment. So, don't be shocked when you have a wreck with a natural disaster in this fallen world because it comes with the territory.
Disobedience is a factor in the equation of suffering. God wired into you a freedom to choose. You can receive or reject Christ. You are not a puppet. You possess the dangerous dignity to decide and your choices can bring blessings or disastrous consequences on yourself and others. For instance, if you drink alcohol and drive an automobile, you are playing a dangerous game of “Russian roulette.” The poor choices of a drunk driver can bring disaster to innocent victims which represent the bitter harvest of disobedience.
But here is the rest of the story, Jesus proclaimed, "Be of good cheer for, I have overcome the world!" Jesus is the RESURRECTED REDEEMER and His power is bigger than your problem! So regardless of the size of the storm, you can be confident that King Jesus is able to transform your pain into spiritual gain as you faithfully trust His redeeming power.