This is the first in a series of articles connected to Pastor Josh's sermon on Sovereignty and Suffering. You can listen to the message by clicking the button below.
One of the greatest tools of the devil is to get us to think that God hates us or is punishing us when we suffer... it isolates us from our only source of help. Here are some things that might help:
1. Realize: God already punished Jesus for your sin, he's not punishing you. However, he may be disciplining you so that you can enjoy the peaceable fruit of righteousness in your life (a changed life and Christ-like character. (See Hebrews 12:1-11)
2. Remember: Look back on the saints of the Bible, on your own life, and the faithful examples of other Christians and see how God is intimately involved in the events of your life. He was with you the whole time even when you thought He wasn't. And He was working things out for your good. Ecclesiastes 6:12 asks the question, "Who knows what is good for man?" God does. He is ultimately changing the way you think, what you love, and what you're committed to in life.(see also Romans 5:1-5; Romans 8:28-29; Colossians 3:10; James 1:1-14; 2 Corinthians 4:17) How you think about your suffering really affects your emotions and the outcome of your trial.
3. Run: Run to God and His family for support, encouragement, and outside advice. When you're in the middle of suffering all you can see is what's right in front of you. Someone from the outside looking in might help you get God's perspective. Run to the Psalms and learn how to lament to God in faith rather than fear and anger.