Reciente: Evangelistic work by Dewayne, Rita and Antonio Shappley, mostly in the Spanish-speaking world
Reciente: Studies in the bible and related subjects. Articles, tracts, Bible class guides, sermons and slides.
Reciente: Cristianos y congregaciones en el modo de crisis. Video. Once diapositivas, con animaciones.
Beyond your suffering…
Be it physical, material, emotional, mental
It could be that you find healing for your physical suffering through the natural processes of healing the physical body itself activates. Or, by means of medical treatments. Or, in prayer, for: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:14-16). Healed, yes, hopefully, and understanding perfectly well how fragile and transitory physical life is. Resolved to improve it, making wise use of your time.
It may be that healing comes quickly. Or, that it takes a long time to occur, even years. In that case, patience and resignation are to be called upon to manifest themselves continuously, lest too much anguish overpowers the heart, mind and spirit, also causing them to become ill. Which would be worse, exponentially.
Healing for JOB was not immediate; neither the restoration of his possessions. “Brethren… we call those happy who were steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen… how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:10-11).
It would not be surprising that you reply: “Well, I am sick. I don’t have money for expensive medicines and treatments. Sometimes, I am in need of food and clothes. I don’t feel happy at all! Not blessed, but abandoned. God, why do you allow this to happen to me? Why don’t you have compassion on me?”
In truth, the explanation is as simple as it is hard. “Without cause,” God permitted Satan to terribly afflict just Job, destroying his possessions, his ten children and his health. To prove to Satan, and the whole world, that Job’s justness was pure and his character upright, neither one dependent on possessions, family or health!
To prove our faith and character. To mature and purify our soul. These are the fundamental purposes of suffering. The soul that does not comprehend this will never be able to understand “why we call those happy” who suffer patiently.
Take note! Healing never did come for the apostle Paul! Three times he besought the Lord to heal him of his “thorn in the flesh.” The answer was: “My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul understood the “thorn” to be “a messenger of Satan” that brought, rather, a message from God, to wit: “Paul, you should not be exalted above measure because of the abundance of revelations I have given you. You are useful to me as long as you are humble” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Our “thorns,” do they teach us humility and patience?
Take note! The much-lauded evangelist Timothy was NOT healed of his “frequent infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23). From his youth, he evangelized right along with Paul, but Paul did not heal him. Despite the infirmities that affected both, God used them powerfully for the salvation of many thousands of souls. And not only infirmities, but hunger, beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, persecutions, imprisonments and dangers of all kinds.
Lesson: No matter what happens to you, God is able to keep you alive, using you for good, purifying your soul and making it shine like gold, until his purpose for you is fulfilled. That is, as long as you endure, humbly and patiently, the trials allotted you (1 Pedro 1:6-9).
Some trials come, not because we are displeasing God, but to confirm our faith and increase our understanding (Job, and his traumatic losses).
Situations we did not create often result in sufferings, be they light or severe. Trials incubate in every suffering. Insecurity, unemployment, scarcity of necessities, riots, social upheavals, etc. A lot of stress! “UNJUST!” Well, yes! But, resist the trial that you may receive “the crown of life” out there BEYOND all TRIALS! (James 1:12)
Conditions that cause much unnecessary suffering are created by multitudes of youth and adults of their own free will. With what justification do they blame God, Satan, family or friends? Are you a glutton, drunkard, drug addict, promiscuous, sexual pervert, trouble-maker, lazy lout, foul-mouth, crude, abuser? Storms of sufferings beat down on such people. Come to your senses, repent and remove the causes, putting an end to sufferings attributable to vices.
Summing up, instead of becoming obsessed with sufferings, even to the point of falling victim to medical and religious charlatans, lift your eyes to Heaven and consider, long and soberly, that BEYOND your physical SUFFERINGS, BEYOND your PRIVATIONS and BEYOND all your MATERIAL DANGERS, even BEYOND DEATH, THERE IS ALL of an ETERNITY WITHOUT THEM! If you will only believe (Hebrews 11:1-6) that God rewards those who obey him, and never lose your faith. Because he has promised to the victorious a new spiritual body, glorious and immortal! A new “world to come,” where “justice” will reign ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; Hebrews 2:5; 2 Peter 3:13-14; Revelation 21:1-8). On this fabulous “BEYOND” we should fix our sight, and not on the temporal, passing “HERE and NOW.”
Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the patently false gospel of “Heal me right now, Lord! You promised to!” A great lie! There is no such promise. Doctrines to the contrary obviate the cases of Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30), Christians in Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:29) and Jesus, fully tried that he might be a compassionate High Priest (Hebrews 5:10).
Do you suffer emotional breakdowns, severe mental afflictions and/or profound crisis of the soul? You may find relief, even healing, in this life. Especially, through the powerful positivism of Christ and his Word of Hope. Or, you may have to bear them until death. Whatever the case, do not think evil against God, for BEYOND this life there is an eternity without them! OVER THERE, “God… will wipe away every tear… and death shall be no more, neither… mourning… crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-8). So then, emotional, mental and spiritual HEALTH, PERFECT and ETERNAL!
To arrive at that blessed BEYOND, it is necessary to believe in Christ, align your conduct on earth with his ethical-moral-spiritual norms, confess that Jesus is the Lord and be immersed in water “for the forgiveness of sins”(Acts 2:36-47). Christ will then add you to his church, and dying in him (Revelation 14:13), you will be resurrected, over there BEYOND all SUFFERING, to an eternal life of pure HAPPINESS and JOY!
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Paul, in Romans 8:18).
PDF of “Beyond your Suffering” in TRACT format, for printing two copies on a letter-size sheet of paper.
SPANISH version of this subject
Este tema en ESPAÑOL
“Approaching God in Search of Pardon, Honor and Eternal Life” Steps to be taken. Article. Six graphics.
“Travels of the Soul-Spirit after the Death of the Physical Body”
Materials in English on this site. Tracts, Bible studies, PowerPoint, etc.