Oh the horror!
How to face the aftermath of the Fall.
There are a lot of horrific stories in the Bible. But the most horrifying story is found at the very beginning. When Adam and Eve brought on the beginning of terror and suffering (Genesis 3).
Today, sin governs the flesh of you and me, even the little old lady who bakes sweets down the street. We hear the news and terrorism sounds loudest. Bullies seem to pound harder and division exceeds unity. But we shouldn’t be surprised. Sin and suffering will be found in every generation.
So how do we face a world full of sin?
Look to God
God promises to be with us in times of fear and suffering and give us peace.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
Jesus is the promised prescription and the Spirit is with us (Hebrews 13:5-6 and Matthew 28:20). However in the moment of fear, we tend to forget these truths and we are still afraid. The world is full of fearful Christ-followers, who are tempted to obey their fears, to forget who God is and lean on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). However we need not fear man in this crooked world, we are to be guided by Jesus who leads us along the straight and narrow path.
Fear and suffering will come to you, in consequence to the fall. But know that God sometimes uses suffering to redirect you to look to Him, to admit, ‘I need a Saviour!’ When wounds are exposed in your family, school, or church, face them knowing that God is with you.
Find joy in God’s word
A friend of mine once said, “Make Satan wonder for your dancing. Do not give back one foot of ground you’ve gained in your walk with Jesus”. Smart friend. She encouraged me to stand firm in the midst of my suffering. How do we stand firm? No one charges into a battlefield without armour and a weapon. Yet many Christians leave their homes with their hearts and minds unprotected. Without a growing knowledge of God’s word, we cannot move forward. Hurt and fear won’t simply diminish by using Scripture as a bandage. Rather the word of God is both our armour and weapon!
… take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
By holding fiercely to our sword, we can twist our fear for God’s glory. We will remember who has won the battle and stand firm in Christ’s victory. When we do, the world will wonder for our joy. We will be given the opportunity to demonstrate just how sharp our sword is.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Rest in God’s character
Satan, the enemy, will do his best to distract us from God’s goodness. Jesus warned us of this.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16
There will be times when we fail to understand why bad things happen, why God allows hurt and evil to rise up. While it’s absolutely a good thing to ask God in prayer for understanding, plus relief from all suffering, we must trust in God’s unchanging character to get us through.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
We must cast our care upon Him, even if all we hear is, “I am with you.”
Jesus has overcome the horror
Being in a relationship with God won’t end our suffering in this life. Christians will not suddenly begin to enjoy their suffering or wish for it to increase.
So the next time you are afraid or suffering:
- Remember that God’s presence will combat what we cannot change.
- Make Satan wonder for your dancing, by equipping yourself with God’s word.
- Remember the goodness of God’s character, by declaring the promises of God and know that he has fulfilled them.
God promised his people peace. And he sent the Prince of Peace to earth. Jesus overcame the most horrifying story of sin entering the world.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33