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Promises Through the Sufferings

Posted on January 1, 2023

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Promises Through the Sufferings

Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm 148

Hebrews 2:10-18

Matthew 2:13-23

When it comes to a new year it is interesting to look back on the events of this past year and reflect on all of the things that have happened both good and bad. Unfortunately, most people seem to highlight the bad as the most memorable events over the good. Thinking about this it seems that it is much easier focus on the negative things. However, even if we see the negative things, we can find peace and positive perspectives. I believe that we can take great comfort in understanding that Jesus has experienced the things that we have experienced and therefore he understands and can help us through.

Let’s start from the beginning of what Jesus has experienced in suffering and that his promises are revealed. After all of creation was complete, his greatest creation, mankind, rejected him and disobeyed his command. He understands the sufferings of rejection and understands dealing with a disobedient child. And yet through this rejection his promises of love begin. The next thing that our savior experiences is birth. He is born into this world as one of his own creation and experiences this as one of the most inconvenient of circumstances of location, timing, and yet the prophecy and promises are fulfilled through this inconvenient experience. The next thing he experiences is the feeling of someone having murderous intent towards him. This once again fulfills a prophecy and promise from God. He flees for his life to the land of Egypt as Joseph was instructed and this fulfills the prophecy, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Through all of this he is also experiencing the care and protection of parents.

The next part of suffering is a difficult one but is also a prophecy being fulfilled. Herod in his fear and anger sends his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all of the Children who are from the age of two and under. This fulfills the prophecy of Jeremiah, “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.” Through this loss and suffering our Lord understands what we feel when we experience loss and death.

He experienced temptations in the wilderness where he also experienced hunger. He experienced homelessness as he had no home of his own. He experienced poverty and the necessity to trust in God to provide for his needs. He experienced ridicule and friends and family that he grew up with turning against him and trying to kill him when he revealed the truth about who he was and yet another promise being fulfilled. He understands the pain of loss in losing a friend or family member to illness or wrongful execution and murder. He understands the feeling of tiredness and the need for rest. He understands what it is like to be bullied or to have people abuse you, call you names, and bring false accusations against you. He experienced all of these things so that his promises could be fulfilled. Because he has experienced all of these sufferings, he can then help us through them towards love and healing because he understands exactly what it is like. Through his sufferings his promises are fulfilled.

I personally have experienced great sufferings through the year of 2022. Experiences that I am still recovering from and things that I am still experiencing. It would be easy to turn away from God and to turn towards hate and bitterness towards Him and others as well. If I am perfectly honest, I must confess that I have been experiencing bitterness and probably am facing this very thing as we speak. However, the truth of His Word cannot be denied, for he has experienced everything that I am experiencing now and then some. Isn’t it great that we do not have a God who asks everything from us without an understanding of what he is asking from us. We have a God who rather than take from us, would rather give of himself to us. It is Satan who is the one who wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. In the midst of our sufferings, it is easy to forget who the enemy really is and to forget who is on our side to help us through.

A war has been declared upon those who follow the Christ. Many weapons are being used against us. Censorship, post modernism, wokism, etc. They use these weapons to attack our spirit and to discourage us from the truth. Right now, it is not a battle against flesh and blood but against the dark principalities of the world. However, if we ignore this war then they will soon come after our flesh and blood as well. Even so our Lord understands all of these things and will help us through.

This is the year in which the church must wake up from its slumber of complacency and comfortability. The church needs to understand that prophecies and promises are being fulfilled through the sufferings that we are experiencing now. This means that Jesus is coming soon and we must be ready. We cannot go back to the distractions of our sufferings and let them slow us down. Yes, our loved ones are no longer in this world. Yes, there are people in the world hurting us, calling us names, making false accusations against us, however, this must not change our focus from the main thing. Jesus is coming very soon and there are so many people who are not ready. But the real question is are you yourself ready? It could be this very year, 2023 that Jesus returns. The world is crying out as if in the pains of Child birth just as has been promised in His word. This is not a time to be messing around with tick tock and YouTube cat videos. This is a time to be preparing for His promises. But here is another truth. His promises will continue to be fulfilled even through suffering. But praise the Lord that our tears and suffering will only be short and He himself will go before us and lead us through because he knows what it feels like to suffer for the truth. Are you ready for the promises to be fulfilled?