Now, we are on the fourth part of this series. In this part, we will talk about what should be our response towards suffering. Are we going to get angry, get depress all the time? Although we already had the hint on what should be our response, but let’s answer it basing on what the Bible has to say. 🙂
A. THE COMMAND TO BE HUMBLE
- We Must Humble Ourselves – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7). I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).
- Walk Humbly with God – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
- Clothe Ourselves with Humility – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another,forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful (Colossians 2:12-15). Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).”
B. BENEFITS OF HUMILITY
- God saves the Humble – For You save a humble people, but the haughty eyes You bring down (Psalm 18:27). For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 1:26-27).
- God gives the humble Grace – Toward the scorners He is scornful, but to the humble He gives favor (Proverbs 3:34). But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).”
- God exalts the lowly – Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:12). He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate (Luke 1:52). He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety (Job 5:11).
- God refreshes the Humble – For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).
- God Honors the Humble – The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor (Proverbs 15:33). Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor (Proverbs 18:12).
- God rewards the Humble – The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4).
- God blesses the Humble – if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word (Isaiah 66:2).
- God leads and teaches the Humble – He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way (Psalm 25:9).
- With Humility comes wisdom – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).
III. PERSEVERANCE: We must persevere on our faith even in the midst of afflictions.
- The command to persevere – Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised (Hebrews 10:35-36). Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2). Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).
- Command to use Spiritual Armor – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8).
IV. CULTIVATE PATIENCE
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,[a] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
- Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
- James 5:7-8 – Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
- Ephesians 4:1 – I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.
- Colossians 3:12-13 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
V. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER
Everyone of us has experienced a lot of sufferings, and our reaction about it reflects who we are. We sometimes get discouraged and act as if there is no hope left, but the Bible itself comforts us with words that we need to hear. First, we need to humble down. Don’t think that you can do it on your own. You can never do it if that’s how you see things. Depend on God even in the midst of sufferings. Next, we should persevere. Let’s not give up our faith in God because He never give up on us. And lastly, we should cultivate patience in the midst of suffering eventhough it’s too painful and seems so unbearable. Afterall, we still have Hope and it is in Jesus Christ. 🙂
In times of troubles, let’s remember this verse:
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:17
All glory and honor belongs to God.
God bless you, readers! 🙂
PS: Stay tuned for 2 more parts for this series. Next time, I am going to talk about the God’s Sovereignty. 🙂