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Shouldn’t Christians Be Happy in Sufferings?

Shouldn’t Christians Be Happy in Sufferings?

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ByCCD contributor: Lin Huanxi March 10, 2018
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I met a man and felt his pessimism after chatting with him for a while. Then I tried to share the gospel with him, but it surprised me that he was a Christian. His unhappiness was because his mother died five years before and he punished himself with lifelong regret.

However, Jesus has shouldered all sins and the past pain for us. No matter how I attempted to persuade him, he refused and even told me that figures in the Bible were unhappy throughout their lives, like Abraham, Job, John the Baptist, Jesus, and his disciples. Shocked by his statement, I replied that he only saw hardships and pain the forefathers in the Bible went through but failed to discover how they overcame afflictions and developed faith and that they were eventually thankful and joyful after being blessed by God twice as much as what they had. They didn't grumble in the midst of sufferings.

When my new colleague lived in the United States, she felt lonely and needed friends. She became a Christian after having felt loved in the church but knew nothing at all about God. Shortly after her converting, her father got cancer.

She was the only child and her mother divorced him many years ago. She had to tend him all by herself. She prayed to God to heal him, but nothing happened. During that period, she doubted and complained to God until her father died some months later. Recalling the past difficulties, she found that God subtly comforted her every day.

Should Christians be more fortunate and less painful than non-Christians? Look at God's response:"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) We all experience hardships, but we have peace that overcomes the world by Christ.

Here are three tips that may help you in trouble:

Don't dwell on your sufferings. 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.(1 Corinthians 10:13)

Don't take for granted that you experience the most horrible thing. There's always someone living a harder life than you. Figuring out how to live today is better than focusing on meaningless pain. Paul said, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"(2 Corinthians 5:17);"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Have hope, faith, and gratitude. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

If a Christian loses hope in the face of a problem, it may mean that he doesn't believe in God. One can easily speak grateful words in prosperity, while a true Christian has hope in a hopeless situation. 

For example, Abraham was ready to sacrifice Issac as a burnt offering; Job's family was ruined; Joseph was sold by his brothers and framed in Egypt. They were people like us who had emotions and minds, but they differed in that they still held fear a of God under harsh conditions. Sufferings reflected their inner resilience and God's grace and enhanced their faith.  

Rejoice, and always rejoice. 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

A cheerful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

As human beings, we have some periods of sadness and dismay, but we will rejoice in the Lord. This kind of joy and gratitude heals the wounded souls and changes the environment.

A life without sufferings is dull.People may see God's work and grace through a person who has stories to tell.   

- Translated by Karen Luo

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