Why Worship Through Pain And Suffering?

by Kristen Gilles

in Exhortations And Musings

God is gracious to allow us to suffer with Him.  He gives us the blessing of mourning (we will be comforted).  He’s given us tears and the ability to perceive pain.  He lets us feel what He feels.  But His generosity doesn’t stop there.

He empowers us to endure suffering with the strength of Christ working in us.  He perfects His power in our weaknesses.  He fills us with the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead.  So even though our bodies will die because of sin, our spirits are alive because we have been made right with God.  And just as He raised Christ from the dead, He will give life to our mortal bodies by this same Spirit living in us (Romans 8: 10-11).

God’s generous love abounds even more to us as He gives us His very great and precious promises.  He speaks into all of time with promises that are trustworthy and true.

“Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.”

These promises are in the present, future and past tense.  God’s home is NOW among His people. He WILL live with them. He WILL wipe every tear from their eyes. There WILL be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.  When we read these promises, we don’t experience “these things” as gone.  We’re enduring them now.  Our eyes burn with tears, we’re bent low with sorrow, and our bodies are dying.

But God does not lie.  He never fails to keep His promises.  God is eternal.  He sees all of time all of the time.  He is not bound as we are by the hands of time.  So He can speak to our present sufferings and promise they “will be no more” while simultaneously affirming that they “are gone forever.”

And we can trust whatever He says in whatever tense He says it, no matter what our present experience may be.  So we should always praise Him for what He has promised to do, regardless of when we actually experience the fulfillment of His Word.

“And the One sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” –Revelation 21:5

God is making everything new.  Do you believe that?  Your failing frame will be made new.  This weary world will be made new.  The crying cosmos will be made new.  Your loved one who died in Christ will be made new.  You who will die in Christ will be made new.  Everything will be new.

This promise is in the present tense: I AM making everything new.  It’s a work in progress, even though we don’t readily perceive the transformation.  Do you believe what God has said?  As you suffer trials of every kind, do you affirm and express this belief in praise to God who promised to make everything new?  Do you trust God to do what He promised?  Look and see and rejoice that God IS making you new and more like Christ as He supervises your suffering until the day you experience the promised reality of “no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.”

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