Why All These Adverse Experiences as Christians?

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“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 Spirit who is given unto us.”(Romans 5:3-5 KJ2000).

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 RSVA)

What an interesting sequence of happenings that Paul names off here that builds up to Jesus’ love being shed abroad in our hearts! Then John goes on to describe how we may know that His love is abiding in us — lives laid down in service of others, walking on this earth as Jesus walked.

Paul starts off in his description of growth in Christ with tribulations! Not a very seeker friendly of a gospel, there Paul! What could you have been thinking of? Paul was not thinking of building lots of big church buildings and filling them with happy tithe paying people. His vision of the kingdom of God was made up of mature saints of God who were filled with His love for this world an would be demonstrating it in very practical ways. It went way beyond the temporal self-seeking desires of men to become rich, famous and powerful. Paul knew that all these things which can be seen would soon be done away with, but those things like the lives of the saints who live in His love would go on into eternity in a kingdom that can not be shaken.

I know that the love of God which surpasses all understanding did not just drop into your hearts, nor did it mine. We who have been called and chosen by God have gone through many trials and abuses in our lives before God’s love became fully functional in us according to HIS will. Many of us started out with a wonderful honeymoon period with Jesus as our Lover and Friend. We were also surprised when it came to an end. Being a “Christian” was the most wonderful experience we could have ever imagined! But then the trials started and I know that I wondered what I had done to deserve them. I discovered that God was trying to change me. I complained, “What ever happened to ‘Just As I Am’?” I thought He loved me the way I was, then I read where God uses trials and testings in our lives to bring us into a fuller walk with His Son. Like the saying goes, “God loves us the way we are, but too much to let us stay that way!” Many churches today never get beyond the “just as I am” stage of Christian growth. They perpetuate the babyhood of believers with easy believisms, fearing that they might offending anyone and have them leave with all “their money, marbles and chalk” as the saying goes. They want to make “doing church” a happy weekly event. These false church leaders have built a non-scriptural Baby Doc Benjamin Spock system of belief that is not the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Looking back now I can see that all those trials and sufferings I have gone through were from the hand of God and that they worked patience and endurance in me, two traits that God esteem highly in His saints. Jesus put it this way,

But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:17-22 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

Sound familiar? I know that many of you have already suffered many of these things. In all these experiences that we have endured God had given us great hope — the hope of Christ shining forth from our lives. God, somehow came through when all men failed us. We started being changed by experiencing His love for us as we came out the other side of these dark tunnels of pain and rejection. Jesus was there loving us and healing us the whole time. Though we often felt sorrow for the things we went through and shame for our own failings, He took away our sorrow and shame with His love for us. We love HIM because He first loved us and brought us through it all and wiped away all our tears. For “He has given us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for morning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. That we might be HIS Trees of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified!”

God wants us to live lives that glorify HIM and not just ourselves. He wants sons and daughters He can be proud of who gladly do HIS will, just like Jesus and be a fountain of His love for this dying and sin-sick world.

Marantha! Come Lord Jesus IN US!

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18 comments on “Why All These Adverse Experiences as Christians?

  1. wayne roper says:

    heb.2: 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
    Thank God we have had and do have and older brother that has led the way and provides the grace, as we look to Him, to walk through all the situations that He allows to come our way, to make us into His image.i know in my own personal walk that when the situations come and i get overwhelmed and loose sight of Him for awhile, sometimes a loooong while, and He takes me to the end of my faith and myself , only to increase my faith and decrease me, and i finally get my eyes back on Him in the midst of the situation and, like you said, realize He is there loving on me it is a place of some of the sweetest fellowship i have with Him. the situations don’t always go away but as you look into His wonderful face the things of the earth grow strangely dim, as the song says. And He don,t waste a lick He takes ALL that stuff that comes our way and causes it to work together for good. 🙂 ~ wayne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks Wayne. You said it well. Yes, our Father gets a lot of mileage out of every situation we go through because Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. The longer I walk this path, the more I believe that ALL things DO work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to HIS purposes. If God is for us who can be against us.
      Love you my brother, Michael

      Like

  2. Deborah says:

    Good words as usual Michael. The Spirit in me concurs. May I add The Lord knows my heart and “before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept Thy Word.” Psalm 119:67

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kennth Dawson says:

    Yea I took that last paragraph and kind of refrased it a little…God wants us birthed ones to be available for His glory that we can be privileged to participate in…He wants children who gladly see things from his perspective under the Spirit of Christs counsel and thus be a fountain of love for this dying and sin sick world..and it usually takes for us to have to go through some adverse situations before we learn how to co-operate with him and die to our own wills.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Skylla Moon says:

    Thank you Michael. I know that one’s perspective changes through the trials and according what part of it we’re in. I’m in a fiery one right now that isn’t lightening up…just gets hotter. Death, physical affliction and severe pain, betrayal, another death, overwhelming changes, responsibilities overwhelming me….I look to Him begging for it to slow down …nor do I want to waste these sorrows…His love has become more real than what we can see and where we live. Tmrw brings more pain but also more faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Skylla,
      If I remember right we have known one another for about 15 years since we first met on your trip out here with your husband to Idaho.
      I am sorry to read that your trials have not let up but got hotter. I hoped that your moving to an new town and into a new home would help somehow. But, it is good to hear that Jesus’ love has become more real in the midst of all these things. As it was in the midst of a furnace that was seven times hotter than it should have been,
      “He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods. (Daniel 3:25 KJ2000
      Be assured that in all these fiery trials you are in, Jesus, the Son of God, is there with you!
      Bless you, my sister. Remember when the Hebrew children came forth from that furnace they were totally unharmed and there wasn’t even the smell of smoke about them.
      Praying for His perfect purifying work to be done in you through it all,
      Michael

      Like

      • Skylla Moon says:

        Thank you Michael. You have been and continue to be a loving mentor and faithful brother through so many lessons. We were unable to move until just a few days ago due to my mothers recent illness, death, service and now being executrix of her estate. So perhaps as we get settled here and time….I hope so but if not I’m still ok as I am paying close attention now. Love you bro.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Dear Skylla, Through all these stresses in your life, I can tell that our Father has been doing a good work in your heart. It is a pleasure to be your brother and friend. Love you, too, Michael

        Like

  5. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the encouraging post. I think you said it all when you wrote, “Come, Lord Jesus, in us”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Paul starts off in his description of growth in Christ with tribulations! Not a very seeker friendly of a gospel, there Paul!”

    You made me smile with these words, Michael! 🙂

    Nonetheless, you are right, the true Gospel is nothing that pleases the flesh. Instead, it kills our old self. Isn’t that Good News? Not really, it seems, at first sight – at least. However, it is Good News for the spirit that has been enlightened by God while our flesh will always rebel until it is dead.

    Excellent article, bro!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, you are exactly right! Paul said, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.”(Galatians 5:16-18 RSVA). So, you might say that God tips the balance in favor of the Spirit in this battle by giving us trials and tribulations to weaken the flesh. So, thus Peter writes, “Since therefore Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”(1 Peter 4:1-2 KJ2000).
      Dear Father, do whatever it takes in our lives to conform us into the image of your Son, that we might be your true obedient sons and daughters as He is, doing only those thing and speaking those things that come from Your Holy Spirit in us. Amen.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Camille says:

    If we are doing what’s right, we’ll draw Satan’s attention to us and he will actively try to discourage us from continuing to do God’s will. (Ephesians 6:11)

    And then we can bring all kinds of problems on ourselves… sigh (Proverbs 1:25-33). And being humans running around on this danger-prone earth, we can get hurt accidentally (Ecclesiastes 9:11). So yeah, becoming a Christian doesn’t give us problem-free lives.

    We can take those experiences, no matter how heinous, and turn them into something good, especially if we go through those experiences as true Christians and don’t take short-cuts to get out (like stealing because one “needs” something, or lying to get out of a bind), then we have tools, such as patience, insight, deeper ability to love, we may be less-materialistic, have more faith…. and we can take those tools and help someone else who is going through the same thing, or similar things.

    I have a friend who applies Jeremiah 15:19 that way. If we take and separate the precious (information) from the vile (experience) then we can become like a mouthpiece for Jehovah. We can be used by him to share that precious information… like maybe “don’t go there, you are going to get hurt if you do.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Michael says:

    Camille, Your comment reminded me of what Paul said here, “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12 RSVA) to walk free of the Prince of this world, we make ourselves a target, for sure. Isaiah put it this way. “Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.” (Isaiah 59:15 RSVA). But it is worth it all to know that God is using all these things and turning them to our good and remember that we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Jesus said, “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world [kosmos – the world system and the intelligence behind it] you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 RSVA). Paul put it this way, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 RSVA).

    Thanks for sharing, my sister!!!

    Your brother, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  9. fishhawk says:

    Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Russ C says:

    Thanks for the article. I find it very relevant.

    Like

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