Suffering is a doctrine that is found throughout the Word of God. The Emerging Church totally ignores this teaching. What would Job say if Joel Osteen said to him: “Have your best life now?” God builds us up through trials and tribulations, not through creature comforts and living on easy street. Following are ten reasons why Christians suffer. The list is not conclusive. A couple of them will be mentioned in this posting with more to come.
Why Christians Suffer –
1)Suffering Silences Satan
The best example is the story of the patriarch Job. When God pointed out to Satan what a good man Job was, the devil accused Job of doing it only for gain and profit which came to him materially because he feared the Lord. In order to prove his point, God allowed Satan to take his possessions, health and family. The result was that Satan was silenced. Instead of murmuring, complaining, and becoming bitter, Job praised God and said: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
How wonderful it is to see people love the Lord and smile while suffering. The next time you feel like complaining, read the diary of Ann Frank.
2)Suffering Enables Us To Glorify God
The eleventh chapter of John tells us about the death of Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus. Jesus could have healed Lazarus, but allowed him to die in order to teach a lesson to Lazarus and his two sisters. Jesus said in John 11:4: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified by it.”
….to be continued
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
We construct beautiful buildings for worship, then struggle to get people in. We have eloquent preachers but often no unsaved are there to hear them! We seem to have things back to front. The Lord’s final message before He ascended was “Go ye.” Use your feet to go into all the world to preach the gospel. He is saying to the church today, “Go ye into the high street and market; go to the homes and playgrounds; go to your friends and neighbors. Whatever else you do please go. I am waiting to make you a blessing if only you will go.” A conference held some years ago was entitled, “Go Out or Die Out.” How true. Is yours a dying assembly? -David Croudace
Go then and tell them of Jesus, it was for them He was slain
Give them, O give them the Gospel, let not their cry be in vain! -O. Smith
This trip is now in the rear view mirror, yielding memories and a spiritual impact that will be revealed in eternity. Only God knows all that was accomplished. There were sixty one total professions of faith, as seven American pastors spoke in eight Romanian Baptist Churches in the vicinity of Oradea. A wonderful pastor’s conference followed in Satu Mare, Romania.
The trip ended on an extremely high note for me. Once again, I had challenges at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW). [The first DFW adventure is on this blog site under 2012 Mission Trip To England/Uganda, Part 5]. We left Budapest early in the morning as we commenced our thirty hour journey home. The officials in Budapest would not check my luggage all the way to Florida, which meant I had to retrieve it in Dallas, and check it in once again. I already had little time between flights, and now had luggage to deal with. Add to this- going through Customs, entering security once again, and traveling to another terminal to catch the final flight home. Humanly speaking, I thought I may miss the flight, and prayed about this concern for several weeks. There was a bit of good news in our flight from Heathrow Airport /London to Dallas, Texas. Our flight came in twenty minutes early, which is common with flights that come from “across the pond,” since picking up a tailwind can take time off of the flight. But still, there was too much to do in very little time. I was wondering where my God was at my first check point – Customs. This station was a royal mess in Dallas, with several options that served only to confuse the passengers. I asked a fellow passenger which method would be fastest for an American citizen. He suggested simply having my passport scanned. I went to that station and saw hundreds of people who were “deer in the headlights,” not knowing how to place their passport in the scanner, and of course no one was there to explain how it is done because this was a government operation. I placed my passport in the scanner what seemed like twelve times without success. I was beginning to envision a night in the terminal and catching a morning flight. Then God entered the picture: An airport employee was right next to me and he correctly read my frustration. It was a miracle just to see him, as moments prior to this, absolutely no airport worker was anywhere in sight. He seemed to just materialize. He said: “He would help me.” I had NO IDEA how much he would help me. He scanned my passport in a heartbeat, and I thought that would be the end of it. Then he said: “Just stay with me, and I will put you on your flight, but you must stay with me.” He was helping a handicapped gentleman at the same time that he was assisting me. He then helped a lady with a small child, giving them a place in the line in front of us, as a true gentleman would do. He expedited my obligations, through escorting me past existing lines that I would have been in if I were alone. He explained to me that God gives preference to some, and since I was with him, I was able to receive it. I wholly agreed with him with a grateful heart. By now, I realized he was the answer to my many prayers and I told him so. As it turned out, his name was James Smith, and he was a fellow pastor from a nondenominational church. This is what we call a “God thing.” As we progressed from one check point to another, I was still a bit nervous, with the boarding time rapidly approaching. James said: “Do not worry, I am use to this, and I will get you there on time.” If I were alone, I would have been running, but James Smith’s mere presence cooled my jets and I walked with him. I never met a man like James, and I told him so. [The Texans I travelled with saw the one helping me as they retrieved their luggage. One of them previously offered to drive me to the terminal of my departure, but realized that I was in very good hands. They were amazed.] We came to my departure gate while the passengers were boarding, and James escorted me to the front, and then took me all the way through the tunnel, and unto the airplane. I had no idea that when James said: “I will help you,” to what extent he would do so. No, you cannot make this stuff up. I ask you, what are the odds for circumstances like this to happen to anyone? I will tell you – zero, zilch, nada, forget it.
What is the moral of the story? God told me that if you take care of your mission assignment, then I will assist you with the details over which you have no control. Thank you Jesus. This was a blessing to me because it was also a Divine revelation that I was in the center of His perfect will.
The future entries for this Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip will consist of several parts and give a detailed day by day account of the entire mission trip.
Maranatha and Forever Thankful, Pastor Steve
As mentioned, a detailed synopsis of this trip will be provided after the conclusion, giving my thoughts time to settle in. Right now, we are in the midst of the mission trip, and I will share a few of the highlights up until this point. The evidence of intercessary prayer is with us, as things are progressing beautifully. The travel has been fine and without incident, our team is of one accord and one spirit, no one has been ill, and the logistics and accomodations are all great. We attribute this to the prayers of the saints. We covet your continual prayers. There have been peaceful demonstrations throughout Romania, related to the populace’s rightful grievances against their government. After preaching last night, the host pastor and translater had dinner with me and we observed protests in Oradea right next to our restaurant. They were peaceful protests. The Romanian people are anything except violent. More importantly, in the service prior to our fellowship, we were blessed with a packed church with absolutely no extra seats available, and we were also blessed with four professions of faith. Because of the Lord’s blessings and your faithful prayers, the Holy Spirit is working and convicting hearts. It does not get any better than this, this side of heaven. The Romanians who we have met in the many churches are red hot for the Lord and just waiting for leadership, teaching and preaching. In other words, the pump is already primed. We have an open window of opportunity in this wonderful nation and would be foolish to not take advantage of it. Last night is why I feel led to be a part of this dynamic ministry!
Oradea, an ancient city, is filled with archaeology from both Roman and medieval times. It was formerly called Dacia, the northern most outpost in the Roman Empire, after Romania was conquered by the Emperor Trajan. Dacia was the last province to fall to the Romans. As mentioned, this is a presentation of a few highlights with much more to follow.
In His Service, Pastor Steve <><
I am on the verge of embarking on a mission trip to Hungary and Romania in January-February 2017. I had the opportunity to go to the same nations in 2005, and it was the best mission trip I have ever been on. (That previous trip is summarized on this blog site in the category Hungary/Romania 2005). I request your prayers. Romania is still very receptive to the Gospel and recent mission trips were blessed with hundreds of converts.
The beauty of the trip is that I will travel with the same mission organization as before – Partners In Missions International (PIMI). Their website is http://www.PIMI.org
This trip will feature a crusade/evangelistic atmosphere, and it will consist of about fifteen pastors preaching the Gospel. We will be preaching crusade evangelism based in Oradea and the surrounding towns. We will also attend and contribute to a pastor’s conference in Satu Mare.
Bob Ward was the president and founder of this wonderful ministry of nearly twenty years. He has gone on to be with the Lord. The president is now Elijah Morar, from Romania, who works very hard in both Romania and in the United States of America. The Romanians are one of the finest people groups I have ever met, and they are very receptive to the Gospel. They are kind and respectful to their guests.
I covet your prayers for the following:
1)Logistics- airplane flights and tickets, hotel accommodations, luggage and connections. I pray not to be rushed.
2)Health- I pray for good health throughout the trip. The weather is very cold this time of year. Their latitude is the same as Minnesota. I just heard prior to departure that there is lots of snow right now! I pray to be well rested with a minimum of jet lag.
3)For the Great Commission to be accomplished in a powerful way. For folks to be gloriously saved. We pray for professions of faith, baptisms and rededications. We pray for our preaching to be anointed and for souls to be touched for eternity. We pray for excellent interpreters who accurately convey the original meaning of our words.
4)For love, harmony and unity with our mission team. For doors to open up through new relationships and new Christian friends.
5)I pray for conditions at church and home to enable the entire trip to go smoothly.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
A complete narrative of this trip will be provided on this blog site at the conclusion of this trip.
In Christ, Pastor Steve
Pray For Revival In America!