I was thinking this morning about all those verses in the Bible where we’re told to rejoice in our sufferings. I mean…what is that about? How am I supposed to rejoice when the world around me seems to be falling apart?
I’m told to rejoice when I’m persecuted. I’m told to rejoice in my sufferings. I’m told to count it all joy! What was God smoking when he wrote those verses? How about pray and ask for grace and mercy when you’re going through something difficult. How about, “Revenge is mine sayeth the Lord?” Why all this rejoicing over troubles?
It has taken me a while to figure this one out. It isn’t easy to do especially when you’re in the midst of what appears to be the one thing that you think is going to kill you rather than make you stronger. It isn’t that God wants us to be thankful for the “stuff” we’re going through. He knows the stuff is difficult. Some people like to say God sent the stuff to make us grow but I don’t think so. I think Satan sends all that stuff to us to try to distract us from where we’re heading. If we’re on the right path heading in the right direction then the proverbial stuff seems to always hit the fan just when we are doing everything we’re supposed to be doing. That make sense. Satan is trying to get us off course.
So, why should we rejoice when everything and/or every one around us is attacking us? I think the reason is this. God desires our worship. He wants us to praise Him, worship Him and love Him. That was His plan for us. When we do that, I believe he blesses us. As long as things are going good, it’s easy to praise God but what happens when things go wrong? We start grumbling and complaining. We start questioning whether God loves us or if He’s even there. We wonder if He’s punishing us for something we did. We can become distant from God and easily distracted from what His purpose is for us.
Satan’s job is to steal, kill and destroy. If he can get us focusing on our problems instead of on our God, then he can succeed in his plan. However, if we praise God no matter what is going on in our lives then it will take away the power that Satan has over us. Consider this. You are hospitalized for some illness. Thank you God for allowing me some time off from work to focus on you and to allow my body to heal and to rest. You are facing financial troubles. Thank you God for giving me this opportunity to learn how to be more thrifty. You are having issues with children. Thank you God for showing me where I still need to grow myself. I mean anything you’re going through if you can find some positive in it and turn it around and praise God for that difficulty then I think you will disarm Satan and take away his power.
If his attacks result in you praising God MORE and not LESS then does it behoove him to keep attacking you? If Satan’s purpose is to get you to turn your back on God and instead of turning your back or doubting God you only move closer to God, rely on Him more and praise Him more, then Satan is going to be shooting himself in the foot every time he attacks you and I think he will lessen his attacks. Now, he may for a while try to test you in this and send different attacks and be more crafty so you will have to be on your guard against that but if you can rejoice in your sufferings then I think you can overcome Satan and thwart his plans to destroy you.
I think maybe God knew this when He wrote the book. It’s just taken me a little while to finally understand the concept!