Wisdom from Strife
Life is short, forever is long... When we suffer, we must remember that it is a temporary event as conflict and experience produce wisdom and fortitude.
Have you ever heard of this saying? "No pain, no gain."
There is a lot of logic in this statement. God does not want anyone to struggle in life or to have to experience pain. But in a universe where free will exists, there will be evil forces at work and random natural events that will occur. How we respond to this adversity will ultimately determine our fate.
When we struggle, when we suffer, it is our response that will or won't make a difference for the better. There are times when pain and suffering can create valuable lessons, fortitude and if we are inspired, an outcome of great accomplishments.
If our response to adversity is prayer and reading the Bible, we will acquire wisdom with added guidance from the Holy Spirit. As we learn to love and forgive those who persecute us, our maturity and resilience will increase. We will also be free of our past burdens so we can now focus on the present and our future.
When we suffer due to life events, or even from the actions of others and are able to forgive and move forward with a positive attitude, we in turn build up heavenly rewards for our faith and kindness as everyone will ultimately be judged by God.
In Romans 8:18 it says:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
And In Romans 5:3-5 it also says:
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame,
because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Another great example is found in James 1:2-4:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect
and complete, lacking in nothing."
Suffering for doing something wrong is often considered just, yet the Bible teaches that when we suffer for doing good, it is even more righteous in the eyes of God.
In 1 Peter 3:17 this issue is addressed.
"For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that should be God's will, than for doing evil."
The Bible warns us about being persecuted for our faith in Christ, our virtue and our honorable deeds. Animosity and jealousy are common traits for people who loathe the righteous. In 2nd Timothy 3:12 it says:
"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,"
While the moral standards in the Bible are constant, popular culture and modern society is changing and increasingly in opposition to the defined laws of the Scriptures. So as our Christian beliefs put us in situations that are not comfortable or popular, or even accepted in today's culture, we are reminded that in this life, our struggles, as well as our pain and suffering, are all temporary. There will be great reward for those who are willing to endure personal strife. Our goal as Christians is to forgive and persevere in good faith! It is our understanding and anticipation of God's eternal justice that provides our inner strength.
In Romans 15:8-13 we are reminded that a commitment with ethics and love, will bring comfort from God's spiritual guidance.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
No one really wants to experience pain or to have to struggle with issues in life. Yet when we mature by accepting that our lives are a test of faith in something unseen, we can grow to do greater things. Similar to getting a college degree, one must learn valuable lessons and be tested before receiving a diploma.
If we are able to accept the hardship in our lives with a cheerful and forgiving heart, we will discover the silver lining of unyielding hope and faith. We will learn to be content, no matter what we endure. Once we have the right frame of mind, we will earn God's trust in receiving His amazing plans and opportunities in this life and on to eternity!
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