Belgian Christadelphians

Memories are important

 By Beverley Russell

 Belgian Christadelphians  

 

 Articles in English

 

 

 

Suffering - Through the Apparent Silence of God

 

 

 

< 23 Surprised by joy 

> 25 Choices to make in suffering 


God’s non answer 

Is God hiding His face when He is seemingly silent? 

Disappointed with God

Content with the “no” answer 

Choices to make in suffering 


Importuning for suffering hearts 

Incomplete without the mind of God 


Concerning Faith and the Gospel 


 

Menselijke Natuur

Lijden 

Levenslessen 

 

Belachelijk of eerder Sterke Persoonlijkheid 

Christenmensen met ons geloof 

 


Chrétien, Parole de Dieu et la Foi


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< 23:Surprised by joy 

 

 24. Memories are important in suffering

Our memories, our Bible verses, our prayers all seem impotent in the suffering which we endure, and because God understands, He will accept any response from us at the time and will deal with that. He will even accept that our memories are often not good for us as they spew out terrible thoughts of awful past situations, and the anticipation of more persecution. He can gradually work us back into the positive position and He supports us in the change. But He will not accept our ignoring of Him. None of His saints ignored God in their extremity, not Job, not Abraham, not Jacob, not Joseph, not David, not John, not Stephen. God’s hiddenness does not mean that God is the enemy, or has a lack of concern for us. God permits us to have that feeling to work through, but not to take the assumption that He is hidden from us as an enemy.

So there are two positions which God does not allow us. One, we must not ignore Him, and two, we must not think, because He is silent, that He is an enemy.

Job did not accuse God, in his understandably limited range of vision, of causing his problems. He asked God for explanations to solve the problems that he faced, because he could not satisfactorily answer his accusers. We have read that God did help him with the answers. We can safely assume that God will help us with answers for our suffering and pain in our overly sensitive state and in our understandably limited range of vision, if we ask Him. Job learned about seeing the big picture, and then felt vindicated and loved by God, as Jacob did. God gave them loving expressions to help them feel secure in the present, and in any future trauma. God does not tear us apart in His anger, Job 10, 16. He gently leads us back to Him and gives us understanding.

God does permit our problems and does not turn them away. We bring them about as we make each tiny choice every day. Good choices, bad choices, we have two sorts of choice.

God said to Daniel (10:12) after his long prayers and fasting, mourning for God’s people in captivity, “for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words…Now I am come to make thee understand …” That is enough for us, too, to understand that He does hear our petitions. So Daniel and Job and all God’s faithful servants are encouraged in their limited vision when they see a distorted reality, and God reassures them and enhances their understanding.

God said to Job, “if you cannot comprehend the visible world you live in, how can you expect to comprehend a world you cannot see?” Shown the big picture by God, Job repented.

It is the same principle we say of our fathers, “they would have marveled to see what we see in this world today”. We are comparing the progress in the natural world made in our time from the time of our fathers, and how they would stand uncomprehending in this new time. How much more uncomprehending then it is to compare the natural and supernatural worlds? Understanding our difficulties, God will, like He did for Job, anticipate our needs. He will give us the answers about our faith and the answers for those who doubt God’s existence in our lives, tormenting us.

The big picture contains much more detail than we can ever comprehend and so our own personal dreams and the shattering of them are insignificant in the big picture. That does not mean that God thinks we are insignificant, nor that He will restore our losses, but it does mean that He just needs to move the circumstances on, whether we understand or not. It requires faith to believe that we are never abandoned, and faith to trust in His “moving on” decisions, and faith to remain with hope for the ultimate conclusion of it all, no matter what the result is or how silent that silence is. In our memories the goodness we had should be uppermost. We do remember with pleasure the goodwill and how we were encouraged, and how we wish to be there again. He understands and helps us as we waver. We pray (Psalm119:28) My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word.

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>> 25 Choices to make in suffering







Also of interest: Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past