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Why We Suffer?
by stephanie reck
6/29/2015 / Christian Living
Use suffering to build your character. Don't resent it or let it tear you down. When we suffer, if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and example affect others for good. Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. It is easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events to seriously. Some people think that troubles are always caused by sin or lack in faith, trails may be a part of God's plan for believers. Experiencing problems and persecutions can build character and perseverance and sensitivity toward others who also face trouble. Problems are unavoidable for God's people. Your troubles may be a sign of effective Christian living.
Some people turn to God with the hope of escaping suffering on earth, but God does not promise that. Instead He gives us power to grow through our suffering. James does not say if you face trials, but when you face them. He assumes we will have trials and that it is possible to profit from them. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. We can't really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. We should see our struggles as opportunities for growth.
The key to surviving trials are patience and faith. When we are faced with crushing troubles, we can have faith that God is using our trials for good and for His glory. Knowing God is fair and just will give us patience in our suffering because we know that He has not forgotten us. In God's perfect timing, He will relieve our suffering. Can you trust God's timing?
As we live for Christ we will experience troubles because we are trying to be God's people in a perverse world. Our problems can help us look upward and forward instead of inward. They can build strong character and they can provide us with opportunities to comfort others who are also struggling.
Read Philippians chapter 1 and 1 Thessalonians chapter 3
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