"... the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21b
God has given Christians grace so we can rejoice when life gets tough. I could spend a long time telling you about, no doubt. But there are also good times and how you handle the bad times and how you handle the good times is dependent on the type of attitude that you have. There are some people that are just "hunky dory" and smiling and everything’s going right as long as everything is going right. But as soon as something bad happens, they get real grumpy and they start blaming everybody. That’s not the way God wants us to be.
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." Matthew 27:45
Imagine the day that Christ was crucified. People were everywhere; the city was full because there were many pilgrims there for the Passover. People knew Jesus was being berated, so they came out to see what the commotion was about.
For the Romans, they would look for the longest path to parade a convicted criminal all the way to the place of the skull called Golgotha, where they would crucify their victims. They wanted as many people as possible to watch the people Rome had condemned.
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." 1 Peter 5:10
No man or woman is born great; we were all, at one time, babies. So too, if you are longing for strong faith that grabs hold of the hem of Jesus – It will take time. Suffering is not meant to make us feel like martyrs; nor is it meant to give us something to complain to others about. Instead, suffering is given to us so we can grow in the faith of Christ. For a little while, we will suffer.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Have you ever felt like the prophet Elijah who believed everyone was against him and that no one was suffering for God like he was? (1 Kings 18:22) It is tempting to feel, in the midst of terrible suffering and persecution, that we are the only ones that know and understand what we are going through. But today’s scriptures says there is no “temptation” (or testing, or trial) that is not common to man; while we may honestly believe we are alone in our woes – a quick survey of support groups in our local area might show that others deal with the common struggles of life. (As an aside, these support groups need many more Christians to gently share a Christ centered way of recovery.)
In contemporary Christianity, many have focused on the gifts of God that make us feel good; be they riches, comfort of life, great employment, or good health – who ever heard of suffering being a good thing? Even more, could suffering actually be a type of grace that God uses in our life? Yes, suffering can both lead and protect us.