Matthew 11:28-30 (NRSV)
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Many have read these words and thought Jesus was promising an easy life of rest and relaxation. So why is it that the days are getting harder and the times seem to be getting worse?
Why is it that the righteous suffer when the sinful oft times just live right on?
A song says it pretty clearly 1 he never promised the cross would not be heavy (Verse 28 says my yoke is easy my burden is light) 2 or the hill would not be hard to climb (have you ever climbed an easy hill?) 3 He never promised victory without fighting (we are supposed to be Christian soldiers aren’t we?) but he said help would always come in time
2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
One of the toughest questions any minister will have to answer is asked by many. Why do the righteous Christians suffer? There are many different reasons!
Some suffer for the same reason that unbelievers suffer
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Whether it is because of mistakes made earlier in life or because of things we do wrong now we will reap what we sow!
Some because we all live in a corrupt world full of sin.
Acts 17:16 (KJV)
16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
Psalm 119:53 (KJV)
53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked That forsake thy law.
1 John 5:19 (KJV)
19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
At some time or another we all suffer at the hand of the devil.
1 Peter 5:8-10 (KJV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 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.
Paul gave us a list of a few of the trials he faced that we can know we will make it no matter how bad it seems!
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (KJV)
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
God may even use suffering to help us to grow
James 1:1-3 (KJV)
JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Before you jump up and say I don’t want patience because I don’t need problems I don’t want trying of my faith! Remember first trying of your faith is precious
1 Peter 1:7 (KJV)
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Second like it or not you are going to be tempted and tried! But God will be there with you and for you and he will bring you through it no matter how bad it seems!
1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
13 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.