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By Ken Raggio
God doesn't allow his children to suffer? Read the Bible again. Pick any book.
Let us see if God tries His sons, allowing them to suffer tribulation.
Noah was required to spend 100 years building an 800 foot ship at the age of 500, or he would not be saved.
Abraham was required to abandon his father, mother and homeland, and march off the map to find the will of God.
Abraham was also required to take his beloved son Isaac, born of his old age, to an altar of sacrifice, not knowing that he would be spared.
Jacob had to flee the murderous wrath of his brother Esau, living estranged from his father and mother for twenty years, to win the coveted blessing.
Jacob also had to wrestle with the angel of the Lord until his hip was permanently injured, causing him to limp for the rest of his life.
Joseph had to suffer cruel betrayal, being thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his brethren. Then he went to the federal pen for a bogus rape conviction, and never heard from his family and friends for more than 20 years.
Moses had to spend 40 years in a wilderness with a multitude of unbelieving and ungrateful followers. He was betrayed repeatedly by Aaron, Miriam, Korah and others.
All the children of Israel suffered oppression as slaves under Pharaoh for 200 years.
Joshua and Caleb had to serve out a forty year sentence with unbelieving brethren, even though they had the faith to go into the Promised Land.
Job suffered the death of seven sons and three daughters,
the loss of 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 mules,
a very great household of servants, a grievous disease of his flesh,
the betrayal of his wife, and the condemnation of his friends.
He said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb,
and naked shall I return thither:
the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD."
"He knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him."
Gideon would have been killed by his own neighbors because he destroyed their idols.
David suffered ongoing persecution for fifteen years at the hand of King Saul, even though his heart was pure, and God's anointing was on him.
Daniel was betrayed by powerful men, and thrown into a den full of lions.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were thrown into a fiery furnace.
Jeremiah was thrown into a miry dungeon.
Elijah ran hundreds of miles away as a fugitive from the wrath of Ahab and Jezebel.
Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt because Herod would have killed their baby.
John the Baptist was hated, imprisoned and beheaded.
Jesus had to flee from the citizens of Nazareth and Bethsaida because they would have killed Him.
Jesus was beaten, spat upon, cursed, and finally crucified.
The blind man that Jesus healed was persecuted by the religious leaders.
Stephen was stoned to death.
Many of the disciples were beaten, tried before magistrates, imprisoned, stoned, and persecuted in various ways.
Peter was jailed and run out of town. He was finally crucified upside down on a cross.
All the disciples died as martyrs, except John. He was boiled in oil and exiled to the Isle of Patmos until he died.
Paul listed his sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11:23-30:
"Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more;
in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure,
in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned,
thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers,
in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen,
in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea,
in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness,
in watchings often, in hunger and thirst,
in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily,
the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak?
who is offended, and I burn not?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities."
Paul finally was imprisoned, tried before Caesar, and his head was cut off.
Millions of saints have died martyrs' deaths throughout the centuries.
Jesus said, "And whosoever doth not bear his cross,
and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar
the souls of them that were slain for the word of God,
and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them;
and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season,
until their fellowservants also and their brethren,
that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
AND YOU SAY GOD WOULD NEVER ALLOW YOU TO SUFFER TRIBULATION?
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me,
What are these which are arrayed in white robes?
and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.
And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation,
and have washed their robes, and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple:
and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them,
and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters:
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Do you remember the roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11?
Abel. Enoch. Noah. Abraham. Sarah. Jacob. And many others.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. … wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
GOD IS NOT ASHAMED TO BE CALLED THE GOD OF THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED FOR HIS SAKE!
Why? Because He has prepared for them a CITY that is going to reward them so richly for all eternity! God is not ashamed about the price you had to pay to resist the powers of evil, and suffer at the hands of Satan and this present world, because He knows that when this life is over, you are going to be so very happy because of all He has in store for you.
Paul said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong,” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
Don't fret about your suffering. "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," 1 Peter 5:10.
It will be worth it all when we get over yonder.
See also: When Will The Rapture Take Place?
Here is an old song from 1988, Ken and Dixie Raggio singing,
"I Made Up My Mind To Make It Through."
This is an inspiring song for every Christian who wants to win this fight!
When I started out to follow Jesus many years ago,
The road was sometimes slippery, my steps were often slow.
I met opposition. I didn't quite know what to do.
But Lord, I made up my mind to make it through.
Years have come and they have gone. The battle has grown old.
My mind's made up to win this fight. My faith has not grown cold.
The joy of the Lord is still my strength. My confidence is true.
And my mind is still made up to make it through!
Before the first round started, I said I'll fight until I win.
I might even get knocked down, but I'll get up again.
I'll control the tempo, cause I can't afford to lose,
And I've made up my mind to make it through.
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