Sorrow and Suffering
Can We Handle Tribulation In An Advantageous Way?
There is coming a time when all sorrow, tears, pain and death will pass away (Rev 21:4). However, for this present time, we must face the undeniable fact that people, including Believers in the Messiah, do suffer. Yeshua said, “In the world you will have tribulation [Greek thlipsis, pressure (lit. or fig.):–afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble]” (John 16:33).
Suffering is a fact of life. We find sickness, sorrow, and suffering in all walks of life. It is everywhere we look. This very moment we can probably think of someone close to us who is suffering greatly, and we often think that it doesn’t seem fair that they are having the trials they are having.
So why does YHVH allow His children to suffer?
When YHVH first created man everything was perfect in the Earth. There was no sickness, no pain, no sorrow of any kind. It was His plan for man to live in peace and harmony and never have to experience sorrow or suffering.
Unfortunately, Adam and Eve chose the way of the Tempter, HaSatan, the Accuser of the Brethren. They did not chose to follow the perfect way of YHVH. And the consequence of their sin and disobedience was that they, and their seed, would experience both sorrow and even death.
This means, the suffering and sorrow that we face today is not the work of an unjust God. It is instead the consequence of man’s sin, his disobedience, it is because man misses the mark that is the perfect way of our Father.
Sadly, we inherited a fallen sin nature from Adam and Eve. The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12).
We have sorrow and suffering because we are sinners by nature. That is not to say that we are to continue in sin. Not at all. Instead, we need to seek to overcome in Messiah (Rom 3:23; 6:1; Rev 2:6,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7).
So, we ask, how should we handle sorrow and suffering? Can we deal with it in a way that leads to our advantage?
It often seems to be YHVH’s pattern to use paradoxical forces to achieve His purposes. We have countless examples of this: Cyrus, the Medio-Persian ruler, was used to get Judah back from the Babylonian exile. Rabbinic Judaism denies that Yeshua is the Messiah, yet has primarily been the one used by YHVH to maintain a knowledge of the Torah in the world. The Church, though blind and ignorant of its many pagan traditions and rejection of Torah, has been used by YHVH to let the world know that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God (Messiah Yeshua). So too, the Holocaust was used by YHVH to awaken the world and to get the Jewish people to return to the Land promised to the heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So too, secular Zionism is being used to re-establish modern Israel today. YHVH at times likewise uses sorrow and suffering to paradoxically fulfill His purposes for each one of us (Psa 138:8). Like His rod and staff which are used to correct and guide us, we might say that sorrow and suffering is the megaphone that God uses to assist the “deaf” in hearing His Voice.
A Divine Mystery
There is a divine mystery in suffering, one that has a strange and supernatural power and has never been completely understood by mankind. However, we do know that Believers develop a deep level of spiritually or holiness when they experience a great deal of suffering. When a person who suffers reaches a point where they can be calm and carefree, inwardly smiling at their personal suffering, and no longer asking YHVH to be delivered from it; then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry, perseverance has finished its perfect work, the pain of fleshy crucifixion has begun to weave itself into a jeweled crown (James 1:4).
Indeed, YHVH’s ways are different from ours. He is mysterious, and while we may never fully understand His purposes in our suffering, we must place our complete faith, reliance and trust in Him, and not in our own strength or understanding. He tells us that “no temptation has overtaken us but such as is common to man.” We need to know that our “God is faithful, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation He will provide the way of escape also, so that we will be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
It is in the experience of suffering that the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) works many miraculous things deep within our soul, He does a deep work in our spirit. When we are in this state, our entire being lies perfectly still under the Hand of YHVH; every power and ability of the mind, will, and heart are at last submitted; a quietness of eternity settles into the soul, and finally, the mouth of man becomes quiet.
At this point we stop imagining castles in the sky and pursuing foolish ideas, our reasoning becomes calm and relaxed. Choices inspired by man are removed from our heart. We want to choose only the Father’s purposes for our life. Emotions that once flared over people and things are now deadened, nothing can hurt, offend, hinder, or get in the way of the Father’s good plan for our life: “Behold, I know the plans that I have for you,” He says to us, “plans for building up and not for tearing down, that you might have a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).
We learn that sometimes we need to let circumstances be what they may. We learn to seek only YHVH and His will. We are quietly assured that He is causing everything in the universe, whether good or bad, past or present, “to work for the good of those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).
There is blessing in absolute submission to Messiah Yeshua. We lose our own human strength, wisdom, plans, desires, and gain His supernatural strength and wisdom. Now we can walk in His good plans and share in His perfect desires. Every ounce of our being becomes like a peaceful Sea of Galilee that lies under the omnipotent feet of the One who can walk on water.
Whatever trying situation we may find ourselves in, we can trust that He is ever saying to us, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation [be afflicted, in anguish, burdened, persecuted, have tribulation, trouble], but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We also know He has “not given us a spirit of timidity or fear, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim 1:7). We trust in the fact that even though we are experiencing trials, we are nonetheless legitimate sons in the faith. Hebrews 12:6 tells us, “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (KJV). “Those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (NAS). “The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son” (NIV).
We are works in progress. We are in the “Refiners Fire,” but we know that He is carefully watching over us: “He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years” (Mal 3:2-4).
We are being molded into the image of our Messiah and that can be a painful process, but it is one that reaps golden fruit at its end.
YHVH promises us, “Those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Messiah Yeshua is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Messiah? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:29-36).
If you are being tested, it proves that you are a beloved son who is in the process of being transformed. The truth that we are “blessed” is incomplete if it does not include the truth that Abba will “bless” us with whatever we need in order to make us more like His Beloved Son.
The question we need to ask when we experience trials and tribulation is not, “Why am I suffering,” instead we need to ask, “Father, what lesson do you want me to learn from this experience?”
The 23rd Psalm
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
I Am YHVH
The song playing was written by Batya Ruth Wootten and recorded by our friend, Will Spires. The song is titled “I AM YHVH” and it is truly inspiring. You might want to listen to it before you pray. The song is about the Father’s heart cry for His chosen people: Judah and Ephraim. You hear it as you enter the Zachariah’s Patrol website or Key of David Marketplace, and it can be downloaded at the Key of David Marketplace.
This is a team effort, so we would like to hear from you. Just click on the “Leave a Comment” link below and share your thoughts with us.