We All Suffer
We All Suffer
I want to begin today by making a couple of statements. Every one of us has been or will be hurt as we live in a fallen world. Ever since Adam and Eve partook of the for bidden fruit. Pain is unavoidable in this fallen world. You have been or will be hurt, wronged, and offended by others. There is absolutely no way to avoid being hurt. In John chapter 16, as the Lord was preparing to go to the cross He was providing words of comfort to His disciples. He stated: John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus assured His anxious, bewildered followers to expect problems and difficulties in this fallen world. You can also look at the writings of the apostle Paul to the young man Timothy at a much later time. 2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. The issue is not whether you are being particularly godly or not. For a while obedience does bring its share of eternal blessings, it is equally true that problems and pain can and will rain down on the best of us. Sometimes it seems that Christians bear a much more difficult burden than non-Christians.
Each of us is unique. Some will experience much greater adversity than others. The fact remains that we will all suffer harm. We will all encounter situations that provide fertile ground for resentment and unforgiveness to take root in our hearts. We must remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians as they were struggling with difficulties in that congregation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
The outcome of your life is not determined by what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you. Who you are, how you function, your personal well-being, your future your relationships are usefulness all are ultimately determined by the accumulative effect of the experiences that you have endured and how you respond to those experiences. Everyone is affected by the events that occur in their life. These events will scar hearts and will always be part of our experience. But these horrendous events do not have to be the power that controls our lives.
When you believe that your happiness and well-being is being determined by what happens to you, you become the victim because so much of what happens to you is out of your control. Each one of us is blessed by God with free will. This includes each and every person that you come in contact with on a daily basis. In short you cannot control the actions of other people. You do not have a choice about many of the things that happen to you. Your only hope lies in realizing that you do have a choice about how you respond to life situations. It is those responses that determine the outcome of your life. That puts the burden back on you. That seems to be a prison for you, your response to wounds inflicted on you by others. When you embrace this truth it is a starting point in your being able to forgive.
You, as God’s child must realize that His grace is sufficient for every situation. That by the power of His indwelling Spirit you have the ability to respond with grace and forgiveness to those who have sinned against you. At that point you are no longer a victim. You are free to rise above whatever may have been done to you, to grow through it, and to become an instrument of grace, reconciliation, and redemption in your life to other hurting people and even in the lives of your offenders.
Yes, you can be free if you choose to be free.