On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
God in His mercy and grace brings more of our “kababayans” into our fellowship meetings! We need to continue our evangelistic effort as the Lord has given us a new and specious place. He alone can draw people to come and His Spirit can convict their hearts to believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, salvation is of the LORD! (Jonah 2:9).
Thank God also for many of the regular members who are engaging in welcoming the newcomers. Keep up the good work and pray always as you share to them God’s word. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide when you approach them. Above all, show the Christ-like life which manifests in you as regenerated people of God. Do take note that they are carefully watching how we behave and talk, let us not put the name of our Lord and Saviour into shame.
Allow me to share about suffering. Our text today shows that because there are “tares” planted by the enemy in this world, those who are “wheats” out of good seed will constantly be opposed and persecuted. Should we avoid sufferings in life? This is a question we really need to understand and answer from God’s Word. – Bro Jose
Do You Despise Sufferings? (Ayaw Nyo Ba Sa Pagdurusa) 1/2
Naturally, no one likes to suffer and live a life full of sufferings. Every man desires to live a comfortable life. This causes people to work hard and juggle their time in order to attain a better and suffering-free lifestyle. Actually, these people are too blind to see how they suffered so much in order to achieve that dream of a life without suffering.
Today, we do not seem to understand the place of suffering and grief in the Christian life. There is a shallow perception of what the Bible calls godly sorrow because of the invasion of humanistic positive thinking techniques in churches today. There are many wrong ideas of suffering even in the churches. It is treated as evil and people seem to feel that being free from any hardships and adversities in life is good and godly. In fact, many Christians think that life without suffering is God’s plan for His children and if a person is experiencing it, it is considered a life contrary to God’s will.
However, whether we like it or not, suffering is part and parcel of life. It is an experience every human being on this earth has in every generation after the fall of man. No man is exempted from this emotional and physical setbacks. For the children of God, suffering can be from the wiles of Satan who tries to destroy their testimony. On the other hand, suffering comes as a form of chastisement of the sins of God’s children and the judgment of wicked people’s sins.
Below are some Biblical reasons why no one can escape sufferings in life. We have to understand this clearly so that we will know how to face sufferings and deal with it according to God’s purposes.
The first reason why there is suffering is because it is God’s curse on man after his fall. In Genesis 3:16–19, God said to the woman “… I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” This curse however is not to torture man but to bring them to remembrance the fall of man and such would lead them to desire reconciliation with God.
Paul made this clear in his divine commentary as he described this suffering to the believers in Rome. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:18–21). Every man will go through the curse of his sins in sufferings but for those who believe in the Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they have a hope towards the glorious liberty as children of God. This is a wonderful testimony of believers to shine forth to be a light to those who are still in darkness. Praying that they will see the rays of the glory of God and the life eternal that the Lord offers to all men.
In the book of Revelation (21:3–6), John records, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”
Sufferings are God’s way of chastising His wayward children. The Lord warns them through Moses in Deuteronomy 28:15–20, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.”
The LORD has a purpose of the sufferings that His children go through. “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” (Deuteronomy 8:5–6).
The Apostle Paul expounded this in Hebrews 12:5–11, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (to be continued).
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