A few weeks ago, a sister in Christ fell sick and she shared it on a group and asked for prayer. And people were quick to say that it was not God’s will for her to be sick…that by Jesus’ stripes we are healed, taking verses out of context and so it weighed on my heart that night. Thankfully, the following day, the small group that I’m part of from Church started a series of James of which the text to be looked at was relating to trials so I shared the following with them on Friday, June 5th 2020:
This may probably be an unpopular opinion but I’m learning through a Bible Study amongst my church members, that the suffering that Christians experience is ultimately from God. Even in the story of Job, had God not allowed Satan to inflict the things he did on Job, he couldn’t have done that. And after satan took all that away, Job was able to work through his beliefs and reflect on the might and goodness of God. But that’s in Job. I’m focusing on James at the moment. 😊
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 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.James 1:1-4 ESV
In James, and only from the first four verses, we see that he is writing to the Christians (possibly Jewish) informing them that Christians go through trials of various kinds and the purpose is to test our faith. And this testing produces a fruit of steadfastness/endurance, which then ultimately leads to perfection (when we’re reunited with Christ). And this is why we should count it all joy. Because of the end goal. And this joy is based on what we already know – the Scriptures. So investing in studying Scripture is never a waste (of course, we all know this), as they help during hard times.
But that aside, I think we all know that Satan is not interested in Christians’ maturity. So why would he want to inflict God’s true people with something that will make them draw closer to God, If indeed they are His? Because I know suffering either strengthens true Christians or reveals those who aren’t really His. And without them, one probably would not be able to really test where their trust lies. And yes, by His stripes we are healed. But we can also see that this verse is further explained in 1 Peter that it is spiritual of healing of returning to God, as His children. The adoption made possible because of Christ so we can now live in righteousness, and leave the life of sin of which we were straying:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.1 Peter 2:24-25 ESV
But with all those said, I understand that we can and should pray for physical healing because we know healing only comes from His hands. But I just want us to see that suffering is actually a loving thing from God. Because with that, He’s able to prune us and grow us. He did promise to finish the work He started, through the inspiration of the Spirit when Paul was writing a letter to the Philippians. And that’s simply it.
So we pray for you sister in Christ. We pray, in the inspired words of John, that you you’ll enjoy good health, and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well (3 John). We pray that God works great things during your heart during this trial and that He strengthens you through it. That your joy will not be hinged on present circumstances but on what has been promised to come. That we may all witness and experience the new heavens and the new earth where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more grief and God’s dwelling will be with us!
We know and acknowledge that Your grace is not beyond anyone so we plead and we ask you to please heal her body, and breathe strength into her both spiritually and physically. We thank You because we know You have heard and Your will ultimately be done and that results in us being glorified at the end of the day, along with Christ, all for your glory. In Christ’s name we have prayed. Amen. ❤
I love you all,
And with that I end. If we say that something happens and that God did not will it, then isn’t that to say that something happened outside of His control? Impossible. He is the Creator. Likewise, He desires all to be saved, but He does not will all to be saved, in that He chooses the elect.
…Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,Ephesians 1:4–5 ESV
So do you choose to think that because you are saved, you are free from sicknesses, and trials, as though Christ did not come to bridge the gap between God and humanity so we can now cry, “ABBA Father”? Do you choose to think that God will not allow you to go through suffering because you trusted in His Son? That it will be against His character to do so? That it will not be loving?
I encourage you to seek the truth from His Word and choose to believe the testimonies of God, no matter how hard the pill may be hard to swallow.
And there’s one more thing I want you to know. For those who are in Christ, God works things together for the good of those who love Him and does not withhold good things from us. So if you find yourself going through tough times, remember that it is for your own good. And for the sake of the assurance of being part of God’s elect, choose to remain steadfast until the end, receiving the crown of life. But of course, all by His Strength and grace.
Have a lovely day, Saints!
*Words in italic were added and are not part of the original message sent out from me to the group
*Featured photo is from ‘Pexels’.