In life you will encounter trials, temptations and sufferings of different kinds which can make you to lose hope and faith on God. When hope and faith are gone, the burden will become too heavy to bear, your soul will be disturbed, (Psalm 42:11) , you will have no peace, (Job 3:11), you will start blaming God and end up being discouraged which might lead to depression. (Ruth 1:20-21).
The book of 2 Corinthians 4:16-12 is reminding you that you will have sufferings in your life but you must not be discouraged because it is only for temporary. “That is why we are not discouraged. Through outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. Our sufferings are light and temporary and are producing for us an internal glory that is greater than we can imagine.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-12
Joseph in the book of Genesis encountered most of the trials, temptations and sufferings that one can be able to take, hated by his brothers, thrown into the well which was dry, sold to the Ishmaelite’s and Potiphar, tempted by his master’s wife and arrested and put in jail but it was only for temporary.
His sufferings were just for temporary because at the end he was made in charge of the whole land of Egypt. “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’ so pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt’.”(Genesis 41: 39-41)
What you must learn from Joseph is that your trial, temptation and suffering is just for temporary, that sickness that is been troubling your for years, it is for temporary, and that unemployment it is also for temporary. During Joseph’s suffering time, he was never discouraged and never blamed or complained to God and as a result God was with him. “The Lord was with Joseph and made him successful. He lived in the house of his Egyptian master, who saw that the Lord was with Joseph and had made him successful in everything he did.” (Genesis 39:2-3). In the midst of sickness, debts, unemployment, and rejection, it is very important to remember that you must not be discouraged because God is with you. He will never forsake you nor fail you.
The book of Isaiah 43 is also giving you hope, that God is with us, and faith that your sufferings are only for temporary. “But now, this is what the lord says –he who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel; ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine, when you pass through the waters I will be with you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your saviour’, I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you,” ( Isaiah 43:1-4). Let your soul not be disturbed and rejoice in your trials, temptations and sufferings because it is only for temporary.
5 things that you must do when we encounter trials, temptations and sufferings.
- Pray.“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. (James 5:13)
- Cast all your anxiety on the Lord. “Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6)
- Ask, seek and knock “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks , the door will be opened.
- Persevere. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trials because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
- Wait patiently for the Lord “The lord is my portion, “says my soul,” therefore I have hope in him. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the lord.” (Lamentations 3:24:26)
- Rejoice in your sufferings “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurances and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3-5).
Motsatsi Kgatla is a preacher of the word and has a Degree Theology. She is based in Kempton Park, East of Johannesburg. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org