Mmmm Cha Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Buns) at Yumcha Mmmm
In Australia, we have excellent Cantonese Food!
But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.
At Bible College this semester, my Missions subject has been delicious.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Nepal has been hit by 2 major earthquakes recently with thousands dead.
Our TV screens have been filled with scenes of complete devastation.
How are we to understand this suffering and misery?
Eastern religions may say that angry gods are punishing humans.
These “gods” may be displeased with poor sacrifices offered to them by followers.
Christianity takes a different view.
Christians experience real pain and are not immune to suffering.
Much of the New Testament was written to encourage suffering Christians.
2000 years ago, Christians faced natural disasters, shipwrecks, famines and sickness.
They also faced religious persecution, imprisonment, torture and even the death penalty.
Suffering was part of normal life and expectations of Jesus’ followers.
James wrote to Christians and even called them to be joyful in suffering.
This sounds like a crazy idea, but he gave a good reason for joy.
Suffering tests our faith in God and produces perseverance.
If we persevere in trusting Jesus, we develop a stronger and more mature character.
We can even ask God for wisdom and strength while enduring suffering.
Suffering causes us to cry out to God in pain – this is a natural response.
God wants us to closely depend on Him in prayer during good and bad times.
We can pray that He will comfort and give us the peace that surpasses understanding.
Jesus understands our suffering – he suffered death on a cross to bring us forgiveness.
God does not promise us a pain-free life.
He does promise us eternal life if we trust in Jesus.
So how does this give us hope?
We know that this world with earthquakes is not our permanent home.
We are only passing through on our way to heaven.
So this pain and suffering is only temporary – it will eventually come to an end.
So let us pray that emergency aid and comfort reaches Nepal soon.
But let us also pray that the Nepali people will trust in the one true God.
How do you cope with suffering?
Who do you call for help and are they trustworthy?
Is your pain-relief temporary or everlasting?
mmmm Bible mmmm
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