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In the midst of suffering.

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What should the Christian do when he is suffering?

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No one likes to suffer!.... But sufferings and afflictions are a normal part of this fallen world.
No one is exempt! No one can say, “I will never suffer”. Sooner or later, we’ll face suffering or affliction.
Read Lam 3:21-40
Jeremiah was a witness to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Lamentations 3:1 (NASB95)
I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath.
The armies of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had attacked the city, destroyed the protective walls, and burned the temple. Many Jews had been taking captives to Babylon.
The city was destroyed and desolate! But He was also afflicted!
Be sure: Suffering and affliction will come!
What should you do when you are suffering or witnessing suffering? Let me give three pieces of advice!

Consider the possible causes!

Why is this happening to me?” is the usual question of those that are suffering.
Suffering can have two possible causes. The first one is disobedience.

Disobedience brings suffering.

Since sin entered this world through Adam and Eve, it has brought nothing, but suffering.
God had been more than patient with Judah and gave them many opportunities to repent. Now, it was to late! They were reaping the fruit of what they sowed:
Lamentations 1:5 NASB95
Her adversaries have become her masters, Her enemies prosper; For the Lord has caused her grief Because of the multitude of her transgressions; Her little ones have gone away As captives before the adversary.
Lamentations 1:8 NASB95
Jerusalem sinned greatly, Therefore she has become an unclean thing. All who honored her despise her Because they have seen her nakedness; Even she herself groans and turns away.
As a father with his children, God is patient with the sinner “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”. (2 Pe 3:9)
The first question you must ask when in suffering or affliction should be “Am I in sin?” or “Is God exercising His discipline on what I have done?
The second possible cause of suffering or affliction is being sharpened by God.

Sharpening also brings suffering.

Jeremiah had been obedient to God but, if you notice verses 2-18, you’ll see he was also suffering: he was more bone than flesh, he was bitter and fatigued, he felt like a prisoner, he could not escape his suffering, he was mocked by the people, he had no peace nor strength.
Have you ever felt like that? If you are not in sin, maybe God is strengthening, sharpening, and polishing you.
300 citas para predicadores Ver Las Aflicciones Bajo La Luz Correcta

Las más severas aflicciones sólo parecen intolerables si las vemos bajo la luz incorrecta. Cuando las vemos como procedentes de la mano de Dios, y sabemos que él es nuestro amante Padre que nos humilla y nos aflige, nuestros sufrimientos pierden toda su amargura y nuestro luto se convierte en una fuente de gozo total.

HERMANO LORENZO

God was working on Jeremiah as the blacksmith works the metal to make a powerful sword: heat, hammering, more heat, more hammering… until the desired shape and strength is achieved, then the sharpening with the grinder..
Lamentations 3:31–32 NASB95
For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness.
300 citas para predicadores Aflicciones: El Mazo Y El Cincel de Cristo

Las aflicciones no pueden santificarnos, a menos que Cristo las use como su mazo y su cincel.

We are the enemy’s target to destroy us, but also God’s target to strengthen us:
300 citas para predicadores Afligidos de Ambas Partes

Los piadosos tienen algo bueno en ellos, y por tanto, el diablo los aflige, pero también tienen algo malo en ellos, y por eso, Dios los aflige.

THOMAS WATSON

When you are in the midst of suffering...

Do not lose your hope!

After the storm, calm comes! After the night, mourning comes!

Set your eyes on Lord.

Lamentations 3:24 NASB95
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The problem of many is that they set their eyes on the storm, not on the one controls the storms.
In the midst of the storm, Peter set his eyes on the Lord and was able to walk on water, but at the very moment he took his eyes away from the Lord and set them on wind, he became frightened and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!
Jesus stretched out his hand and took hold of Peter, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?
Suffering and afflictions can make us doubt, can make us take away our eyes from the Lord, and lose hope.
Our hope must not rest on doctors, money, luck, or people, ONLY ON THE LORD. “He is our portion, therefore, our hope is in Him.”

Rely on God’s mercies!

Moments of suffering and affliction, we must cry out for His mercy and hold to it:
Lamentations 3:21–23 NASB95
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
If it wasn’t for God’s mercies, we would be already dead and in Hell! The RV60 states it very clearly:
Lamentations 3:22 RVR60
Por la misericordia de Jehová no hemos sido consumidos, porque nunca decayeron sus misericordias.
God’s mercy consist in God not giving us what we deserved, but acting according to our misery. He sees us in misery and has compassion for us.
He is merciful with the sick, with the orphan, with the widow, with the poor, with those in suffering, the afflicted, and those in sorrow.
In those difficult moments, we can cry out, as the two blind and the ten lepers did, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
Consider the cause of your suffering, do not lose your hope, and do not forget that God is working for your benefit.

Remember: God is working for your benefit!

God always seek the best for us.

Lamentations 3:25 NASB95
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
The apostle Paul came to the conclusion that God is good uses all circumstances and sufferings for the benefit of His children:
Romans 8:28 NASB95
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Be patient! God has his time!

Lamentations 3:26 NASB95
It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord.
Remember that a sword forged on a rush, it will easily break. Diamonds are not made in seconds!
We must be patient and let Him do His work:
Lamentations 3:31–32 NASB95
For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness.
God does neither delay nor rush! His time is perfect!
If He has not responded or acted yet, it is because He is still working the clay or chiseling the stone to make an artwork.
Meanwhile, let us not complain! Let’s take the time to cape the storm, examine our life, praise God, and pray to Him:
Lamentations 3:39–41 NASB95
Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the Lord. We lift up our heart and hands Toward God in heaven;
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