DELIVERANCE AND HEALING
By PBS Ministries
Suffering is an unpleasant experience. When we suffer, we bear physical or mental pain, distress or misery. Not one of us likes to face hardship of any kind. But the Bible tells us when we suffer for what is right, we are blessed, for Christ also had suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God.
The Book of First Peter, Chapter 4, verses 12 to 16 tell us: 12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
We are warned not to be troubled at persecutions and afflictions as we are being tested. The test is to purge us of our impurities and make us perfect. If we are God’s children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. And as we share in His sufferings, we may also share in His glory.
Suffering for Christ is supposed to bring out the best in us. As we go through the process, which may take several months or several years, our character is developed, our soul is strengthened, our ambition inspired and success is achieved.
Apostle Paul told Timothy to endure suffering with him like a good soldier. Paul experienced hardship for the Gospel. He was flogged, put in jail and shipwrecked. He told the Church at Corinth that he was given a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment him, to keep him from being deceited. Through it all, Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Today, our tests may be of a different nature. It may be about financial and material things, sickness and disease, loss of a job or loss of a loved one. It is at such a time like this, that we have to faithfully trust God and hold fast to His everlasting love for us. When the storm seems unending, we ask God, “Why me?” or, “How much longer”. But James tells us in James Chapter One verses 3-4 that, because we know the testing of our faith produces perseverance, let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. We are also reminded by the Word of God that after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us.
Second Corinthians Chapter 4, verses 8-10 say: 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Job was a blameless and upright man. He feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. Yet, he lost everything he had. He fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all of this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
If we remain faithful and steadfast to the end, God will wipe away the tears from our eyes. There will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, neither will there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.
The Apostle Peter said, since Christ suffered in His body, we should arm ourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, we do not live the rest of our earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Therefore, let us wait on God for He is not slack concerning His promise. As we let go and let God, let us fight the good fight of faith like Paul did, let us have the Job kind of faith as we face our struggles. For God’s grace is sufficient for us, His power is made perfect in our weakness. Despite our struggles, let us continue to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Amen