Some people think that, if you serve God faithfully, He will solve all your troubles. Preachers sometimes even promise that God will work miracles to eliminate your hardships. As a result, some people try to serve God but turn their back on Him when they continue to have problems.
With the exception of Jesus, probably no man ever suffered more than Job. Within one day's time, this man lost all his wealth and possessions, then all ten of his children were killed. Next he lost even his health as he became covered with boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. Finally, his wife turned against him and told him to "curse God and die."
But why did Job suffer so? Was he wicked and disobedient to God? In Job 1:8 God Himself said concerning Job: "...there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil." Job 1:22 says that, even after his troubles began, "in all this Job did not sin..."
Here was a just and faithful man, yet He suffered! Yes, the righteous do suffer. Nowhere in the Bible has God promised to remove all your problems, neither by miracles nor by any other means. Acts 14:22 says "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
Then what has God promised? Does He offer anything to help us endure life's hardships? Yes, He does! In fact, the strength to endure is the very thing He offers. In Philippians 4:13 Paul said: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
The Bible also shows that suffering actually accomplishes good in our lives. And especially the Bible shows that we can have eternal life when this life is over if we suffer faithfully (James 1:12).
You should serve God, not because He will remove your problems now, but because He will help you endure them and then give you life in a land without problems after this life is over.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2/5/2005
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