Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STAND UP FOR JESUS (don't write about the song) (04/09/15)
TITLE: Understanding Suffering
By Edmond Ng
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- but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (1 Peter 3:15 NAS)
As a digital media coordinator handling the website and social media for a Christian organization and writer of a Christian blog, I sometimes receive feedback and comments that put into question the faith, the authenticity of the Bible, the loving care of God, among many others. While I am able to direct some of the questions to the relevant parties to answer the enquirer while at work, I stand with God and His word alone when it comes to defending the faith in replying to comments on my Christian blog.
One of the longest discussion I had with a person who commented on the blog was on the topic "Why would a good God allow suffering?" None of us, in actuality, is alone in our sufferings, for Christ Himself had suffered. Since Christ had suffered in the flesh, then all the more we should arm ourselves for this same purpose because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. There is hence no need for the one to live the rest of the time in the flesh for evil human desires, but for the will of God. Anyone who suffers as a Christian do not need to be ashamed, but should glorify God for bearing the name (1 Peter 3:18; 4:1-2, 16).
Although suffering did not exist until after the fall of man, it is not entirely bad in our present condition. Without suffering, many would live lives as they deem fit and not know when to turn around to seek God. In a sense, suffering is one of the many ways man can be molded and be brought to the realization of a God who cares. Instead of complaining about our sufferings, therefore, we should learn to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. He is the One who comforts us in all our affliction, and we who suffer much will also receive much comfort through Christ, so that we may in turn comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
In our suffering, let us sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts that we might be always ready to make a defense to anyone who questions our faith and hope, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).
Dear Lord, You know and understand the sufferings we are going through, for You have also suffered for our sins once for all time to bring us to God. Grant us Your strength to go through the trials we are to learn from, and bring us to triumph. In our affliction, comfort us and grow us up to love You even more. Put in us a heart like Yours to comfort others in their sufferings that they may experience Your love for them, just as we have experienced and known Your love for us.
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