in this world we will have tribulations but be of good cheer, He says, I have overcome the world.
I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. I also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.
2 Corinthians 7:4
Too often sinners are not told the entire truth by other believers. Salvation by grace through faith is certainly the most wonderful news that any sinner can be told but the Christian life is not an easy path to tread and all too frequently suffering and pain comes in its wake. Difficulties and trials are inevitable as we travel through life, but how important for Christians to understand the cause of sin, the effects of sin, the consequences of sin and how to live godly in Christ Jesus.
We all delight in the wonderful news that all our sins have been forgiven, past present and future, and rightly so – but new believers should also be trained up in the Christian life and understand about post-salvation sins, and all to often they can affect our relationship to God and our fellowship with Him. If the reality of the Christian life is not understood, believers can all too often become spiritually defeated – because they never learned the truth.
Pressure and suffering is a reality for every Christian. Difficulty and disappointments are integral to the believer’s world, but in Christ, we have been supplied with all we need to live a godly life and we are even exhorted to be joyful in our sufferings. We are not promised to be removed from our suffering but to be enabled in our sufferings. Jesus reminded us that: in this world we will have tribulations but be of good cheer, He says, I have overcome the world. John 16:33.
Suffering and pain is indeed a reality but sin is also a reality in a believer’s life. We do not become sinless when we believe in Jesus, we become saved. And although the power sin has been severed in our life, and we have been given a new live in Christ, believers still commit sins and although forgiven through the blood of the Lamb, often have consequences to face. How important to know that sin in the life of a believer has consequences and how to address them
Are my sins not properly forgiven as a believer? Yes, every last one of them, but every sin brings with it consequences. A believers’ sin of fornication is forgiven, but the result may be aids or a baby. A believers’ sin of ‘murder’ is forgiven, but a consequence may be prison. A believers’ sin of stealing is forgiven, but may result in the loss of a friend’s trust, but most serious of all is that any sin in our life puts us out of fellowship with the Father – eternally saved but devoid of communion with God.
We all need to face the truth that sin and suffering is a part of this fallen world and Christians are not exempt. When suffering is a consequence of our own sin – we should go immediately, boldly and yet humbly to the throne of grace and confess our faults, knowing that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, to cleanse us of our unrighteousness and to return us into fellowship with Himself.
But when suffering is the consequence of living in a fallen world we should be joyful in tribulation knowing that suffering produces patient endurance.. and we should heed Paul’s advice to the church at Thessalonica: we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations, and that ye endure. 2Thess.1:4, and we should also follow Paul’s example, when he writes to the Corinthians: I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. I also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance. 2Cor.7:4
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