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"I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth " Exodus: 34:10 (KJV)
Rejoice in sufferings

I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me – II Corinthians 12:9

It is a joy to read the words of blessings. When it comes to sufferings none of us enjoy it. This week we the title says rejoice in the sufferings. But why? The answer is given in the verse following it – so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Paul was a wealthy and learned man holding high position in Roman Empire. After being met by the power of Jesus he became a transformed man. He had to undergo sufferings. His experiences were amazing. In II Corinthians 12:1,2, he speaks about a person who was caught up to the third heaven where he heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. Yet he does not reveal that it was his experience. He claims that I will boast only about my weakness.

Paul who had such an experience was also not exempted from sufferings. He received 39 lashes with whips for 5 times, three times he was beaten with rods, once he was stoned, he was in danger always, shipwrecked, went without sleep and food and went through inexpressible sufferings. Despite all this he wants to boast of his weakness and not about his strengths.

This message is for ones who cries unto God, why God? Why me? Why should I suffer in this world like this? Why are you not hearing my prayers? After accepting Christ we think we shall have nothing but blessings. In contrary to that Bible says those who want to live righteously shall suffer – in their body through sickness, in their family and in their day-to-day life. The story does not end here please go ahead and read the entire message to get a clear view of God’s plan in your life.

Sufferings are given to us so that we may not boast about our achievements but learn to bear the sufferings for the greater reward in heaven and in earth.

Paul said, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly greatest revelations, there was given me a thorn in my fresh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me" – II Corinthians 12:7.

Sufferings teach us to pray for others who undergo turmoil worse than ours. We learn to sympathizes with sufferers when we hear or read about tragedy. In our heart we can feel their pain and pray for them. Christians are tormented in many parts of the world. If you live in a place where you have freedom of religion do you pray for others who do not have that kind of freedom? When you hear about sickness of friends and relatives do you sincerely pray for them? Newspapers publish about ill-treatment meted out to the wives by their husbands, divorce, infidelity in families, if you have a happy family do you pray for them? We read of wars and the resultant pangs of pain, do you pray for them? Child abuse is becoming increasingly common do you pray for the safety of children? How many of you take the privileges given to you as granted and never pray for any one else except your own family. Just because we have happy life we fail to thank God for all his mercies and pray for others. Instead our wants increase progressively and our thoughts get entangled in our own life. We are too busy to think about others. Sufferings beget burden for others.

Does it mean that God does not want us to be happy but always suffer. No, it is not true. Bible says, "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him" – II Chronicles 16:9. A carefree life produces a complacent heart which does not think beyond itself. God’s plan in our lives is that we should pray for others – a prime responsibility, which rests on each and every person who knows Christ.

Think of all the blessings that God has given to you and thank the Lord. Count your sufferings as blessings because they teach you to be more responsible towards others. Sufferings produce inner strength to combat devil and his plans.

If you are blessed by this message kindly let us know, that we praise God together at pastor@indiabethel.org