The Sovereignty of God and the Sufferings of this World
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
How many of us have ever asked the question, “Lord, why is this happening to me?” This question usually comes as a result of an unexpected challenge or dramatic event we have encountered. Because of that, we are left perplexed, confused, and in pains. We begin to question the goodness of God, His character and His purpose.
If God is all good, all loving, and all powerful, why does He allow the sufferings in the world?
Why does He allow His children to suffer?
Jesus told the disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Praise the Lord! Jesus has overcome the world.
There will be tribulations in the world. There will be sufferings. The question should not be why me? But rather, what attitude to adopt when in suffering? How do I face the situation and overcome it?
For this first part, we will look at the sovereignty of God. Then the days ahead, we will look at sufferings and how to overcome.
Beloved, there is no doubt that the God of heaven and earth, He who has revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush, the God who came in the person of Jesus Christ is sovereign. God is Sovereign means that He has an unquestionable authority over the world and His creation; He does what He pleases. He decided your gender, your parents, your country, your tribe without asking anyone’s opinion including yours. God does not need any man or anything to exist. He exists by Himself. He is God by Himself. Hallelujah!!! We all need Him
In Acts 17: 24-26 Paul explained this about God,
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.”
How do we respond to such a description? You can only but worship this God, submit to Him and trust Him. No matter your sufferings, He has a plan for your life. God created you or gave you existence for a purpose. He place you in the nation where you are for a purpose.
Man including you is at the center of God’s plan and purpose in the world.
The Psalmist asked, “What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalms 8:4-5).
You matter to God. Your present or past difficulties should not get you discouraged. It is part of the process of your training. God wanted you and He created you. You will overcome. Hallelujah!!
Have a blessed week.
1 Peter 4:12
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you”
The book of 1 Peter was written to encourage the saints who were dispersed in Asia Minor because of persecutions. They found themselves in critical conditions because of their faith. They went through various trials and sufferings. Suffering is the unpleasant experiences that we go through in life. It is enduring what we are uncomfortable in or what is not convenient for us Suffering can also be anything that pains us, hurts us, or offends us.
There are different types of Suffering: Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual.
A Christian can face any of these kind of sufferings depending of his level of maturity. Apostle Peter reminded the believers, Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you”
Do not see it strange. Jesus suffered pains at all levels. Suffering can also be of different degrees and magnitudes. You can be affected at different degrees. The causes of suffering are multiple.
- There are Natural causes. We can cite natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides. Yesterday, I heard of a deathly earthquake in India that has already claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Imagine the number that will be homeless and the pains that will follow. We can also see some climatic conditions like heat and floods that put people in stress and pains. Some regions suffer of famines because of poor climate.
- We can also have Human Causes to sufferings. Human errors and weaknesses can be responsible for some people’s sufferings. Imagine the case of a doctor who gives a wrong prescription to a patient.
Under human causes we also have Human with bad characters who can bring people into sufferings especially when they are leaders. Bad leaders in families, society and countries can lead people into sufferings. That is why you must pray for anyone who is in authority over you (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
- We also have spiritual causes. The assaults of the devil and demons on humans can bring sufferings of various types on men. The thorn in Paul’s flesh was a messenger of Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7). Satan can inflict sickness, oppose people’s progress, create blockages and bad rumors. Satan can do many things against you especially when you set out to serve God. Prepare for oppositions and attacks.
But let me tell, never get discouraged, our God is on the throne. Jesus defeated the world, and disarmed the devil. Jesus is with you and will fight for you. Very soon, you will be out of that trouble, praise the Lord!
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
There is a question that always baffles men, God created a perfect world with man also perfect (Genesis 1:31), how did evil enter the world?
Adam was created a free moral agent with the ability to choose. He was put in charge of God entire creation with the mandate to replenish the earth. Adam could truly be a free man only if he was placed in an environment wherein he could exercise his freedom making choices. Our freedom is best exercise when we have the possibility to choose for ourselves. Man was not a robot, but a free agent. That is part of the image of God in man.
Remember that God created Adam to be like Him, that means free.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)
So, the garden of Eden was a place where Adam had the opportunity to choose between good and evil. God placed in the Garden, the tree of the knowledge of God and evil and the tree of life.
There was another agent in the scene of the Garden, Satan. As a fallen agent who chased from heaven because of his evil thoughts, he came and deceived Adam through the wife to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus four things followed.
- Adam was no longer innocent, he became aware of evil that entered his nature, thus sinful.
- Adam experienced spiritual death. His spirit became dead to the things of God.
- His senses were activated to do evil. Man was more controlled by Satan and his senses rather than the Spirit of God.
- So, because man yielded to Satan, Satan became the god of this world and influence the systems of thoughts of humans.
Thus, evil began to increase in the world with all kinds of perversions and destructions.
The result is what we see today, and the Bible says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:” Why will there be perilous times or sufferings? Because “men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Those are simply the manifestations of the sinful nature in man.
Let us pray for more conversions and pray for more men to yield to the spirit of God.
Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
We saw that Adam became a sinner when he wrongly used his freedom and obey the voice of Satan. He yielded to Satan’s deception and ate of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of God and evil. Man could not longer remain good and innocent as he was created. The knowledge of evil entered his nature and so man knew how to do evil. God announced a painful child delivery and a painful laboring to have food.
Later on, we witness the first crime in the world with Cain killing his own brother. And so, man continue to deviate from God’s path until at the time of Noah, God could not longer watch evil and violence in the world. He decided to clean the world by sending the flood. Sparing only Noah and his family. Eight people went into the ark and God began a new generation with them. It was a new beginning and it still did not solve the problem of evil and suffering in the world because, evil had entered the nature of man.
So, let us understand that through the manipulation of the devil and man is capable of many dangerous things. I want you to understand clearly that, not everything that you see happen in the world or on the earth is the will of God. Just as the act that brought evil in the world was not the will of God (Romans 5:12-17), many events and actions that bring pains and sufferings in the world are not the will of God. They are either from man or from Satan.
One of the first teachings of Jesus was to teach the disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
When you read the verse, you get it clear. There are things that happen on the earth which are not God’s will. If all were God’s will, why then will Jesus ask us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven?
You can now see the central role of man in bringing the will of God on earth through prayers. Man has a great authority on earth, (Psalm 8:4-6). So, we must align to God’s will.
God said in Isaiah 55:8-9,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God has His thoughts, ways and plans, and man has his. We must pray so that God’s will come to pass.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God is clear when He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
We must seek the Lord for His plans and His will towards us to come to pass. If you sleep, many things will happen in your life, family, city and country which are not the will of God. We can pray to enforce God’s Kingdom and bring to pass God’s will on earth. Whenever you see something contrary to God’s will, pray, pray, and pray to revert it. May God strengthen you to do so constantly. Hallelujah!!!
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you”
This will be choking to some people but this is the truth, no matter how much we pray and seek to avoid trials and problems, we are still going to have some moments of pains, disappointments, attacks, conflicts leading to some types of sufferings. Independent of our doing and our will, we will either suffer physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Jesus already said that because we are his disciples, we will have tribulations in this world; we will suffer insults and persecutions because of His nane. And because we live in an imperfect world, we can be exposed to some natural climatic conditions. The bad leadership of some government leaders can cause us to suffer. Family members’ behaviors can bring us pains and grief. So we should rather be prepared to handle whatever we meet on our way to our destiny.
What attitudes should we then adopt in such moments when we face a trial?
- Do not be surprised nor see it strange.
Peter who understood very well the message of Jesus Christ wrote this, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;” why should we not see it strange? It is normal in the world to go through some sort of sufferings.
- Keep your peace and your joy. Peter continued by writing, ” but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
(1Peter 4:13). Why because we are partaking in the suffering of Christ. Also, as Habakkuk declared, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food;… Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation“
(Habakkuk 3:17-18). You can still rejoice in the midst of your trying moments. You can still keep your joy event when the business is failing or the project is failing.
James puts it way,
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
The result is the same in 1 Peter 5: 10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
So, do not see it strange to face Sufferings and keep your joy when they come. This will help you to follow up with the next things we will see tomorrow. May God bless your Week end. Shalom.
John 9:1:And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
It is always important to keep in mind that there are three main causes to human sufferings: human causes, natural causes and the devil. We began looking at some attitudes to adopt that can help us out of suffering. Let us close the list today:
- Do not throw blames at others. Yes, there could be human causes, but it is not always wise and fair to keep on blaming others. As long as you keep blaming others, you will not see the work and the glory of God.
In our text, there was a man who was born blind; and the first thought of the disciples was to look for who to blame. Here is their question, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Listen to Jesus’ answer, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
(John 9:3). No one sinned and no one was to be blame. So, stop blaming people and look up to God.
- Know that God is still with you in every trial or problem. When many Christians face trials, they can easily think that God has abandoned them; or that God does not love them anymore. Hear this, “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you… , And He who formed you, O …: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
God will never abandon you nor forsake you in your trials. He still loves you and has a wonderful plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
- Always remember to pray. When you face trials or suffering, always commit yourself to God. James 5:13a says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” The same James wrote that we can also ask for wisdom, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). You can pray to ask God to show you the way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).
God is willing and ready to help you. He said, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3). God also said, ” Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
(Psalms 50:14). Hallelujah.
- Speak to the problem. (Mark 11:22-24). Yes you can speak to the problem or trial. Command it to lose grip over your life.
- Keep serving and praising God even when you are in troubles. That is the final weapon to nail the devil and defeat the problem. Don’t yield to wrong ways and practices.
May God bless you as you follow the above suggestions.