I'll chime in. If God TRULY is your SOVEREIGN LORD...you don't question ANYTHING he does. His Wisdom, Power, Insight, Perspective and Plans are so beyond what you and I can even FATHOM that we are FOOLS if we do challenge HIM. So...I bristle whenever someone says, "How can you worship a God..." I don't MAKE my God...he MADE me. Those who ask this question, may have a god, but not THE God.
I'll chime in. If God TRULY is your SOVEREIGN LORD...you don't question ANYTHING he does. His Wisdom, Power, Insight, Perspective and Plans are so beyond what you and I can even FATHOM that we are FOOLS if we do challenge HIM. So...I bristle whenever someone says, "How can you worship a God..." I don't MAKE my God...me MADE me. Those who ask this question, may have a god, but not THE God.
Sorry Michael, I am not understanding what you are injecting, I think you meant to say "he made me", not "me made me", and which question are you referring to? Could you elaborate a little on your thought , and who you were responding to in with this post, I am interested in your insight.
Bruce // servant to King Jesus.................... God with us
Reasons for trials and tribulations
(A) To build character
(1) 2Cor.4:7-18; Rom.8:35-39; James 1:2-15
In the book of James 1:1-15 is found the classic example of the Biblical distinction between a trial and a temptation. The temptations in vrs. 2 comes from the Gk. peirasmos, which means a "piercing trial" or a "proving: tests which are for the purpose of building strong character in the believer. The word translated "perfect" (vrs.4), is teleios, Gk., and means "the end" or "completeness" of a process or thing. Trials are designed to bring about spiritual maturity and completeness in the believer.
In vrs. 13,14 James makes it clear that God never takes the initiative in "tempting" men. God allows men to be tested; however, He cannot by His very nature test men by evil means. It is clear that when men are tempted to do evil, it is the result of yielding to satan's devices because of their own fallen sinful natures (1John 2:16). Sometimes we enter in and go through prolonged times in our lives of testings and trials. It isn't necessarily because of any sin we have committed; rather, it is orchestrated by God or the Holy Spirit, (Gen. 37:18-28; 45:7,8; 50:20; Deut. 8:1-3; Luke 4:1-14), as a time in which we go through the dealings of the Lord (Job 23:12; Heb. 12:7[ see notes to Job 23:12 on 6:7-14] in Criswell Study Bible).
A clear example of this is found in Ecc. 2:24; 3:13; 5:18,19; which explains that a man "should make his soul enjoy good in his labour". When we examine the various definitions of the word "labour", we find this phrase to take on a whole new meaning. The word "labour" comes from the Heb. "amal", meaning:
(1) Afflict, by causing pain and suffering.
(2) Try, which suggest imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or self-control:
(3) Torment, which is persecution or suffering annoyance.
(4) Torture, by causing unbearable pain or suffering.
(5) Rack, which is stresses or strains, and
(6) Grill, which is to cause discomfort by long relentless questioning or accusations.
As difficult as it may seem, such "labour" as this can be enjoyed when we realize the characteristics, or "fruit" of the Spirit that it produces, (Gal. 5:22,23; Eph. 5:9; Heb. 12:11). It is through these means that spiritual growth and maturity takes place.
1) Affliction or to be afflicted; as mentioned above, means to have pain and suffering.
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."
1Cor. 4:11-20; 2Cor. 4:7-18; 1Thess. 1:5,6- Affliction comes because people see the power of God in us.
Also because people want to keep you in bondage to their ways (2Cor. 11:20; Gal. 5:1,8).
1Thess. 2:14,15- When you live by Godly principles the result is that people will eventually want to kill you!! If they can't kill the body they will try to kill your effectiveness.
1Peter 2:20-24; *4:12-19
1Peter 5:10; James 5:7-11,13- The purpose for suffering is to make you perfect and to establish, strengthen, and settle you.
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every mans= work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
For not temptation, no trial regarded as enticing to sin [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man, that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out, the means of escape to a landing place, that you may be capable and strong and powerful patiently to bear up under it.
2) Try, which suggest imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or self-control.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
James 1:3,4 AMP
3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed (with no defects), lacking nothing.
Trials "work" patience. Notice that patience is not something that you receive. You have to work at getting it. It takes work to gain patience and that is the only way you get it!!
"Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart." God did not try him so that God might know all that was in Hezekiah's heart; God tried him so that Hezekiah would know what was in Hezekiah's heart. It is through trials that you understand what you are really made of. Your faith in God is tested and perfected through trials.
Zech. 13:9; 2 Cor. 3:13; *Rev. 3:10- Trials are used to refine you like gold is refined in the fire. It is the Word of God in you that is tried. As long as you stand on the Word of God and believe it, you will be safe.
Character- (1) Fixed (2) Predictable (3) Image
It is not a gift. You can't pray or fast for it. It is a result.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom. 5:3,4- Experience. Character comes by experience. Tribulations. Like a statue, somebody spits on it, curses it, it rains, snows on it. A statue is always the same. Almost without exception, everywhere the word tribulation(s) is written in the Bible it either proceeds or is proceeded with an illustration concerning character.
Rom. 5:3-6 AMP
3 Moreover, let us also be full of joy now! Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character; that is, approved faith and tried integrity. And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
6 While we were yet in weakness, powerless to help ourselves, at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.
Notice in the Amplified version of Rom. 5:3 the word "pressure." Pressure is not always a bad thing. It builds character. Also notice in that particular verse in the KJV that patience is not produced, but "worked." You have to work at having patience. It isn't something that is produced for you. It is a character trait that has to be developed.
Luke 21:19, says: "In your patience possess ye your souls."
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Notice that patience brings salvation.
The word "salvation" comes from the Hebrew (Chaldean) word "Yeshûwah" which in its' original definition meant "God." This is why scripture says in John 10:33-38:
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered, them Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
It's other definitions are:
aid, deliverance, victor(y), prosperity, health, help, welfare, to be safe, free, to avenge, preserve, rescue, deliver, help, to equip.
Another definition comes from the Hebrew word, "yâshar", (yaw-shar´), meaning:
to be straight or even, to be (or cause or make) right, pleasant, prosperous: direct, fit, seem good (meet), + please (well), be (esteem, go) right (on), bring (look, make, take the) straight (way), be upright (ly).
The word "salvation" also comes from the Greek word, "soteria", (so-tay-ree´-ah), meaning:
defend, deliver, health, sane, (to be of sound mind), save, self-control, strength.
also the Greek word "sozo", meaning: heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
Gal. 3:18, 19- "Ordained" means: manage, conduct, supply, dispense, distribute, execute, superintendent, enforce, charge.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
In verse 7 you see that in trials and tribulations you should find rest!! In other words, when you are experiencing pressure or trials from the circumstances of life, it is because of the Word of God that you live by. The world will test your faith just like the seven sons of Sceva were confronted and tested (Acts 19:13-15). If you don't truly have an intimate relationship with the Word of God you will be put to shame and consumed. The only thing in this world that will last is Gods' Word (Matt. 24:35). So the only way that we can last in this world is to have Gods' Word in us. But the Word that we have in us will be put to the test!! If we stand firm in Gods' Word we can't help but survive whatever life throws at us.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for he spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin in the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
When we suffer persecution that is a sign of the glory of God upon us and in us (vrs. 14)!! And as mentioned earlier, when we experience trials, tribulations and persecutions we should rest knowing that during these times, the Spirit of God rests upon us (vrs. 14).
3) Torment, which is persecution or suffering annoyance. Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary@ defines it as:
"To cause to undergo extreme physical pain or mental anguish." "American Dictionary of the English Language Noah Webster 1828 edition says it is from the Latin "torqueo", meaning "twisting, straining." It also describes it as:
"To tease, to vex; to harass; as, to be tormented with importunities, or with petty annoyances. To put into great agitation. Paining to an extreme degree; infliction severe distress and anguish; teasing."
To torment someone is the act of causing a person mental anguish and suffering by persecuting them. The act of persecuting someone would involve; in this case, bearing false witness or false accusations in order to discredit or shame the individual.
A lot of people have soul damage. It usually starts as a child from abusive parents, teachers, brothers, sisters, etc.
Matt. 4:23,24- People with soul damage are tormented.
Another form of torment it when a person is be-littled or treated in a condescending manner.
(4) Torture, by causing unbearable pain or suffering. Like the previous word Atorment@, the word "torture" from the Greek "tumpanizo" means to beat to the death
(5) Rack, which is stresses or strains is from the Latin "torqueo", meaning "twisting, straining."
The difference would be that "tormenting" is usually done with words, i.e., false accusations or teasing, and at times involves some physical pain; whereas, to be "tortured" would more likely involve the highest degree of physical pain inflicted upon a person. Torture can cause a person death; whereas, the other forms of "labor" don't.
Almost all of the disciples and Stephen were tortured to death for what they believed in.
Rev. 12:11 AMP-
And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death, holding their lives cheap till they had to die [for their witnessing].
Rack, which is stresses or strains.
The American Dictionary of the English Language Noah Webster 1828 edition, says it means:
1) An engine of torture, used for extorting confessions from criminals or suspected persons.
2) Any instrument for stretching or extending any thing; as a rack for bending a bow.
3) The neck or spine, a collar.
4) Properly, vapor; hence, thin flying broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapor in the sky.
The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, Bacon
5) Among the Tartars, a spirituous liquor made of mare's milk which has become sour and is then distilled; also, to draw off from the lees; to draw off, as pure liquor from its sediment; as, to rack cider or wine; to rack off liquor.
6) To stretch; to extend.
7) To harass by exaction.
From these definitions we see that the purpose of "racking" someone is to draw a confession out of them; whether it be a true confession or make the person give a false confession. A method of punishment such as this will cause a person to either confess what the tormentors want to hear in order to stop such punishment, or possibly cause permanent damage to the spine, arms and legs. It is used to "make or break" a persons' will-power concerning a confession of truth.
(6) Grill, which is to cause discomfort by long relentless questioning or accusations.
Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, defines it as:
1) To torture as if by broiling.
2) To mark or emboss with a gridiron.
So we see that there are two aspects to being "grilled." The first implies being questioned relentlessly with accusations in such a way as to confuse a person and weaken their confession or their account of a matter in the same manner that lawyers at a trial do in order to weaken a testimony and discredit a witness. The person being "grilled" is put on trial concerning the truth of the matter in question. If there is any flaw in their testimony, they are put to shame.
The second aspect of the word "grilled" concerns a method of torture. For instance, if a person was caught stealing, they were sometimes "branded" with a mark which in some instances was placed on the body in a place where all could see which caused humiliation to the individual. Cain had a mark placed on him by God on his forehead (Gen. 4:15), which let all the inhabitants of the earth know of the sin that he committed. But God also would not let anyone kill Cain. So this kind of punishment is not meant to cause death.
(B) Our sins
(1) Lev.5:17; Hosea 12:5-11; Heb. 12:5-11
We suffer because of our lack of knowledge and because of our own sins. In Hebrews 12, the word "chasten" used in vrs. 5-8,10,11, is translated to the Gk. paideia, which means to "discipline" or "spank," referring to the treatment of children used to educate, instruct and teach; whereas in vrs. 9 it is translated to mean "correct". These verses are supporting strong evidence that although man's nature is fallen and bent towards sin, by the intervention of God in the life of the believer through means of correction, rebuke and chastisement, spiritual sonship is restored (Luke 15:11-32; 1Cor. 4:21; 14:3).
Furthermore, God's discipline yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness in the lives of His children, and this means of discipline is for their profit (Heb.12:10,11). It is also evidence of His love (vrs.6). God supplies man with the method or devices necessary to remain upright and righteous in His sight (2Cor. 10:3-6; Gal. 5:16-18; Eph.6:14; Exod. 15:2,3).
It is important that in disciplining a child, it should be done in love and not in anger where reproof is to be given first (Prov. 17:10), followed by the rod if reproof is unsuccessful. Correction is never the object for beating a child for that would be abusing them; but rather, discipline is the means for training the child.
(C) The sins of our forefathers
(1) Exod. 20:5; 34:7-9; Lev. 26:14-44: Deut. 4:29-40: Is. 65:6-8,9-20
We suffer because of the sins of our forefathers. In Lev. 26:40,41,44, it states that we should humble our hearts and accept the punishment of our iniquities; however, because we turn from our sins and the sins of our forefathers, the Lord will save us (1Chron. 7:14; Ezra 9:5,7,8,15; Is. 65:6-20). God does not limit Himself to time (Is. 65:20), but by purpose, and He divinely promises that "there shall no more be an old man that has not filled his days". In other words, no man shall die before he has fulfilled God=s purpose for his existence on Earth. It is because of sin or lack of knowledge that a man's days are not fulfilled (Hosea 4:6).
(D) Sins of society as a whole
(1) Gen. 11:1-9; Exod. 16:2,3; Deut. 8:2,3; Job 9:22,23
We suffer because of the sins of society as a whole. The division as Babel (Gen. 11:1-9), was one of the most traumatic spiritual experiences in history. The purpose to reach unto heaven (vrs. 4), reveals defiance. There are two reasons for the building of the tower, (1) it was to be a pagan temple designed to tower above all else as a monument of the religion of the people. It was designed to rise approximately eleven stories tall with the intent to impress and show that this god was supposed to be the supreme power of heaven and earth (Is.14:14); and (2) The people were ambitious to "make us a name", an ambition which exposed the collective pride of the people and their zeal to exalt themselves (Prov. 16:18).
The word "chastise" has many usages relating to how God deals with us as sons (Heb. 12:7). There are many different tools a parent can use in the process of raising a child in order to instill discipline and it is important for a parent to use proper discretion concerning the use of the tools. In the book of Matt. 7:9-11 is a parable describing how God knows how to give us exactly that which we need. How important it is that we supply our children with exactly that which they need, even concerning discipline. Too much or too little discipline can be catastrophic not only to the growth of the child, but to the parents also. Too little discipline will produce a child who will grow up being spoiled and pampered and will seek to obtain all you have and all you can give them in order to satisfy their own selfish desires and self-gain. Too much discipline will produce hate, strife and contention which will cause the child to run from his parents and God to seek freedom. This will also cause the child to seek "license" to do whatever he pleases, and will cause them to rebel against any kind of authority.
The word "chastise" has many derivatives helpful in discerning the proper methods to use relative to the severity of the offense done by the child. As the progression of disobedience increases, so does the severity of the discipline. Some of the words derived from "chastise" and their usage are: (1) (rhapizo [rhap-id-zo], Gk.), meaning "to strike with the palm", (2) (paio [pah- yo], Gk.) meaning "to strike with the hand or any instrument to sting", (3) (plasso [place-so], Gk.), meaning "to strike with an instrument which flattens or pounds to inflict", and (4) (tupto [toop-to], Gk.) meaning "to strike repeatedly with a stick or instrument to cause wounding" such as a whip, (Matt. 20:19;Heb.12:6). This last measure of course would only be used to break the most stubborn self-will and should never be delivered with anger which would be abusing the child.
Job 9:22,23 shows an illustration of how the righteous suffer because of the sins of others. When sin abounds in a nation everyone suffers the consequences - godly and ungodly. One persons= sin can affect a whole nation (Num. 12; Josh.7).
Dee Turner said:
I agree with you, God lets us make our own choice, and so many grownups in Haiti and other parts of the world, practice voodism.
Dee, you are wise. We can not judge who is good or bad, who is innocent or whom simply had all the time G_d had planned for them. All we can do is make our choice to do good or evil. Being good is not the main thing, it is the only thing. Even a second of life is a generous gift from the most high, we should all be greatful.
Wow. That post from Dee is a year old. Haven't seen her on in quite a while. Last I heard she was quite ill. Anybody heard anything? ALL her questions may be answered by now.