BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 6

First the Suffering

"Why do we have to suffer?" "If God truly loves us, why do all the bad things happen to us?" I hear such questions often. For years, people have wrestled with those questions, and they still haven't discovered the answers. I don't even try to answer the questions. I do make one comment, however: "If God only blessed us after we became believers--if He took away all suffering, hardship, and turmoil for Christians--wouldn't it be a way to bribe people into the faith?"

That's not the way God works. The Lord wants us to come to Him out of love and because we know we're needy--so needy that only He can fill those needs for us.

The reality is that from the time of birth until we go home to be with Jesus, we will suffer at times. Some have harder tasks than others, but suffering is still suffering.

I also think that when people watch us as we turn to God for help in our hardships and they see our victories, it provides a witness to them. That witness may not always make them turn to Christ, but it does show God's presence in our lives and makes them aware of what they're missing.

The other day I had a new thought: Suffering results in thanksgiving. When our lives turn chaotic and we don't know what to do, we turn to the Lord for help, and He answers our prayers and sets us free. God speaks to us and comforts us. And the result is that we're thankful.

The time between suffering and thanksgiving is when the devil truly attacks our thoughts. He may begin by saying, "If God really loved you, you would not have to go through this." The truth is, we'll have problems if we're believers; we'll have problems if we're nonbelievers. But as believers, we'll also have victories. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can have peace in the midst of the storm. We can enjoy our lives during the hardships because we truly believe that God is working on our behalf to bring deliverance.

Pray: My Master and my God, forgive me for always wanting an easy life. I admit that I don't want to suffer, and I don't like it when things go wrong. But I ask You to help me have a good attitude and to trust You to bring good out of it. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2005 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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