Suffering is a part of life. It’s the illness of our planet. We do what we can to avoid suffering when possible. We eat right so we don’t get sick. We pray hedges of protection around our loved ones in hopes that nothing bad will happen to them. We fight against oppression spiritually, emotionally and culturally. Sometimes we refuse to watch the news because we know if we do we will see many examples of how suffering and oppression abound. In spite of our best efforts to avoid it, we will experience suffering in one way and to one degree or another.
Since it cannot be avoided, it’s better to be prepared. How can we possibly prepare for something when we don’t know what it could be?
Jesus gave us the blueprint in Matthew 7:24-25. He said to be doers of His word and by doing that, you will build a house that cannot be shaken by the storms of life. He did not say that by doing His word or by having faith that you could avoid the storms but rather that your house, which represents your spiritual life – your faith – would still be in tact after the storm.
So what does it mean to be a doer of the Word? First, you have to know what His Word, the Bible says. You have to read it, study it, listen to others who are teaching it. Search the scriptures and spend time in prayer getting to know the heart of God. He wants to reveal His heart to you. He longs for you to understand His deep love for you. When you begin to know His heart you will begin to “do” His Word
He wants you to understand that the cross, which is a place of suffering, is the only way to a life of resurrection. Jesus died for you and your pain and rose again so that you could experience resurrection life both eternally but also now in every difficult situation you face.
No matter how good or bad your current situation, it is time to seek God. It’s time to get to know His heart and purpose for you. In the good times and bad, He will stay with you. He will make certain that you come through better than before.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.