James A. Washington

Our suffering is an integral part of God’s plan to ready us for the struggle of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Suffering in some ways is a prerequisite for strengthening one’s spiritual muscle.

Take notes on this. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but (rather) painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re all in training, believe it or not, to fight in God’s war. Whether being forged in a fiery furnace or stuck in a tailspin of perceived despair and hopelessness, each one of us is being battle-tested in anticipation that one day, we will be called to arms.

This struggle, these experiences, bring about wisdom, a spiritual wisdom from a spiritual perspective that I believe must be shared. It must be. Otherwise, God keeps you in a perpetual classroom where life constantly gives you a new place to go to the bathroom. You haven’t learned anything, so life keeps kicking your … well, you get the picture.

When you finally realize the one trying to tell you something is God, then a wondrous thing begins to happen. You listen more intently and learn more eagerly. Like the child who discovers walking leads to the joy of running, the possibilities seem endless. The mind says, “Tell me more.” The spirit says, ‘Thank you, Jesus.” At that very moment, it my belief that God lets us know we’re able to withstand, overcome, rise above and win the battle of carrying the message of salvation: Christ is savior.

At that moment, we also move from being in the classroom to being on the battlefield where Satan keeps score. You remember those days back in school when you actually studied and were prepared for the test? Confidence oozed from you. When God has been the lesson planner, the study partner, the instructor, it doesn’t matter how much Satan wants it to be a Netflix night.

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12.

Our job then is to recognize and represent – to recognize the hell we’re going through is not without purpose. The most important message of the day is to understand who (Jesus) has suffered the most and why. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32.

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