WHEN IN PAIN REALIZE
THE EXAMPLE OF THE BRETHREN

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope James 5:10, Ro 15:4 KJV

We have all experienced it at one time or another. We come to the place in our walk with the Lord where hardships seemingly take their toll on us. Like, Job, Elijah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and the many others who lived before us, we find our selves asking God to take our lives, or to cut short even excuse us from the work He has called us to carry out. When this happens it's a natural thing to want to want to ask questions.

Asking questions is not only essential but is vital for a healthy and growing relationship with the Lord. Perhaps you're going through such a time but you're afraid to ask God for understanding, fearing you might be questioning His righteous judgment(s). Asking God for the sake of enlightenment and clarification so that you may continue joyfully in the assignment He has given you is both encouraged as well as instructed. The Book of James exhorts us in the following manner.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God
James 1:2-5

Let him ask God! A truth necessarily supposed, that every man, more or less, lacketh wisdom to enable him patiently to bear, and prudently to manage, the afflictions of this life; and that there is need of great wisdom to enable us to glorify God in a suffering hour. [selected fro WBN Notes on the New Testament]

However, the kind of questioning that doubts God for the sake of argumentation, and the casting off of one's duty is an attitude we needs be careful not to enter into. Listen to what the Book of Isaiah whould have us know,

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? Or thy work, He hath no hands? "Thus saith Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel; And he that formeth the things which are to come; Do ye question me concerning my children? And do ye give me directions concerning the work of my hands? Isa 45:9,11

The simply fact is that God uses our difficulties in order to draw us closer to Him. Our trials were never engineered to derail us or to give us an excuse to quit. We are admonished in the Scriptures to bear in that it is during times of distress that we can take heart in the fact that, "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb 4:15,16

The fact is that God does at times allow us to undergo troubles to such a degree that we feel weighed down, that is to say, we come to the end of our natural strength. But what about the times when these trials seem so abundant and intense that we begin to look upon death as a credible option of escaping our duty and present discomfort? This has been the experience of a great deal of believing brethren.

Yet it is under these conditions that our life and faith in Christ seem to thrive and grow best. And knowing that, and designing things to work so, God desires to empower us to in order that we may persevere and remain faithful to what He has called to. Paul writing to the Corinthian Church states, For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 2Cor 1:8,9

It one thing to despair life when it comes to trials. To be physically tired, spiritually drained, or emotionally defenseless as a result of such hardship, are all normal experiences. These are but "symptoms" of our being subject to these earthly bodies of ours. But when we let out pain interfere with what we know God has called us to, then that where God draws the line.

Heb 10:38,39 states, Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

In the following series we are going to look at some of the Saints and Prophets who struggled with the circumstances God sent into their lives. We find them questioning God even harboring hard thoughts against Him. Some were so moved by their situation that they were ready to quit in the middle of the battle. But, as we well soon see, God will have nothing to do with self-pity. No He is Sovereign, and it is His Will that will be done. Romans 11:29 reminds us that,
The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

In our next lesson we are going to take a look at this truth through the life of one of God's choice servants, and that is the Prophet Jeremiah. Be sure to join us then.

GET READY FOR THE GRACE THAT IS HEADED YOUR WAY!

THINK ON THESE THINGS - ACT ON THESE THINGS

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