Suffering comes to the human race in a variety of forms: Physical sickness, pain, mental pressure, rejection, loneliness, war, famine, disease, persecution, natural disasters, poverty etc. No nation or class of people is exempt. Black and White, Asian and Indian, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, all people suffer even though their problems vary. Why is this?
Why hasn't man, with his sophisticated knowledge and skill, been able to eradicate suffering? And what is the Maker doing to help? Does the Almighty JAH understand what the human race is going through?
Human suffering is on the increase. Many believers are giving up their faith. Great men's hearts are failing them for fear, because something is radically wrong with civilization. What is it? Where have we gone wrong? Man, who has plumbed the deepest oceans, scaled the highest mountains and gone to outer space, and after all this, he is still incapable of removing human suffering.
We notice also the rapid increase in natural disasters: volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts and famines. What's going on? Why does Jah (if there is a Creator, many would add,) allow these things to happen? Is He perhaps behind it?
- Behold, JAH maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2: And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3: The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for JAH hath spoken this word. 4: The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
But why does the Adonay allow such destruction to take place? He could stop it - easily. Why doesn't He? The answer is given in the next two verses.
- The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 6: Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
In other words: the whole world is being punished because of man's blatant sin. The earth is under a curse! Jah's laws have been transgressed, twisted and broken with blasphemous impunity. Yes, that is why earth is under His curse.
Note: We should learn about the inward search in us humans to break Jah's Law, we should speak about, Daniel, Noah and Job saving only themselves and also speak of the people who don't honour Jah's law…the Scripture says “from such turn away”. For proof of these points read (2 Timothy 3:1-5, Ezekiel 14:14,18,20).
The question remains, Will suffering ever end? And when it is all over, will we be able to look back and say: `suffering did have its benefits and JAH was just and right to allow it?'
Let us briefly examine this important subject of human suffering.
1. CAUSES OF SUFFERING
Suffering has many causes. People suffer:
For the sins of their ancestors
Exodus 20:5 - Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I Jah thy Maker am a jealous Maker, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
For their own sins
- But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Jah thy Adonay, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: 16: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 17: Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. 18: Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19: Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 20: Jah shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
For living righteous
2 Timothy 3:12 - Yea, and all that will live righteously in the Messijah Jahoshuwah shall suffer persecution.
2. SUFFERING COMES TO EVERYONE
No one is exempt from suffering. All the prophets, all the apostles, indeed all the assembly suffers in one form or another. Even the Messijah suffered.
The Sufferings of Jahoshuwah the Messijah
Mark 8:31 - And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
The Sufferings of the Apostle Paul
Acts 9:16 - I will show him (Paul) how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
2 Timothy 1:8 - Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Master, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the jahspel (gospel) according to the power of Jah; 9 - Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in the Messijah Jahoshuwah before the world began, 10 - But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jahshuwah the Messijah, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the jahspel: 11 -Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 - For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
- For unto you it is given in the behalf of The Messijah, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
1 Peter 5:10
- But the Jah of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by The Messijah Jahoshuwah, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
`But,' you may well ask, `Why should the righteous suffer with the wicked? They haven't set out to transgress the laws, change the ordinances or brake the everlasting covenant. Did not Jah promise blessings to the obedient? What about all those blessings promised to the righteous?' For example:
Blessings to the Individual
- Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the unrighteous, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful… 3: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Blessing to Abraham & the nation of Jahzrael (Israel)
Genesis 12:2 - And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Blessing to a Congregation
Numbers 6:24 - JAH bless thee, and keep thee: 25: JAH make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26: JAH lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 27: And they shall put my name upon the children of Jahzrael; and I will bless them.
A spiritual Paradox
But, again we ask: `Why do the righteous suffer?' It's a strange paradox to see many obedient believers suffering greatly; often more than-outright sinners. Why is this? Take for example the Scripture VIPs: Abel, Job, Joseph, Naomi, Elijah, Jeremiah, David, Daniel, the 12 Apostles and countless Jahzarenes (saints) down through the ages; not forgetting Jahoshuwah the Messijah.
All of these obedient souls suffered greatly. Why? Didn't JAH promise blessing to the obedient? Why then did the Almighty JAH allow these righteous believers to suffer?
Paul's testimony provides some answers to this puzzling question.
2 Corinthians 11:23
- Are they ministers of The Messijah? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24: Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25: 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; 26: 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; 27: In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28: Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the assemblies. 29: Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30: If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
2 Corinthians 12:5
- Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6 - For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 - And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 - For this thing I besought the Adonay thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of the Messijah may rest upon me. 10 - Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for the Messijah's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Consider for a moment the two amazing truths Paul mentions in those few verses.
`There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.'
`My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness'.
Here we can see the Most High's reasons for allowing His chosen and faithful servant Paul to suffer.
To keep Paul from running away with the idea that his personal goodness and fine intellect had somehow triggered his amazing spiritual understanding. In other words: to keep Paul humble.
That JAH'S power is best demonstrated when a believer is totally helpless and weak; when he cannot rely on his own physical or spiritual strength or even the strength of others. For the fact is, when we are at our weakest, we should cling to our Heavenly Abbah all the more; and it is particularly at those times that His great love and power become more evident and His presence most appreciated.
3. SUFFERING HAS BENEFITS
Suffering has many benefits. I will list a few:
To Learn Obedience
- Though he were a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. 9 - And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
To Learn Spiritual Lessons
- And thou shalt remember all the way which Jah thy Maker led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3: And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jah doth man live.
- And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4: And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of Jah is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.
To Glorify the Maker
John 9:1 - And as Jahoshuwah passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2: And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3: Jahoshuwah answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of Jah should be made manifest in him.
To Share / Complete JAH'S Suffering
Philippians 3:10 - That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
- Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of The Messijah in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the assembly.
To Enable One to Understand/Help Others
2 Corinthians 1:3 - Blessed be Jah, even the Abbah of our Master Jahoshuwah the Messijah, the Abbah of mercies, and the Jah of all comfort; 4: Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of Jah. 5: For as the sufferings of The Messijah abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by The Messijah. 6: And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7: And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
4. RIGHT ATTITUDES IN SUFFERING
How one reacts to suffering is extremely important. Do not waste time or effort trying to establish who - if anyone - is to blame. The real cause of human suffering is usually very difficult to establish. Concentrate on maintaining the correct attitude amidst suffering. And above all, do not abandon your faith in Jah if your suffering appears to be endless. If anything, suffering should draw the true believer closer to JAH. Is He not suffering inexpressible sorrow at this very moment as He views mankind's myriad miseries and rejection?
Bear Suffering Patiently
1 Peter 2:19
- For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward Jah endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20: For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with Jah.
Get Suffering into Perspective
Philippians 3:8 - Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of The Messijah Jahoshuwah my Master: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win The Messijah, 9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of The Messijah, the righteousness which is of Jah by faith: 10: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Commit your Soul to the One Who Created You
1 Peter 4:19 - Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of Jah commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Study Psalm 69. All sufferers should read the Psalms. There you will find numerous examples of how to react to suffering. A person's reaction to suffering is important. Do not grow bitter as many do and blame others or even Jah for not caring.
Having learned, through bitter suffering, remember those two vital lessons from the Apostle Paul, He triumphantly declares:
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses FOR THE MESSIJAH'S SAKE: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
This, then, is the Holy lesson; the real reason why JAH allows His people to suffer. It is to demonstrate that however weak we may happen to be, and no matter how grim the circumstances we may find ourselves in: sickness, poverty, loneliness, persecution or pain, we can willingly bear it for the Messijah's sake! For the fact is, JAH is proving to the universe that:
Believers can maintain their faith
under the worst of circumstances; that even when they are at their weakest, JAH'S power can uphold them
and make them conquerors, even when threatened by death.
Satan can never reverse the blessing of JAH.
When JAH is with us,
who dare be against us?
The Adonay is not doing this to boast. Remember He is a humble Being, more humble than anyone who exists. He is simply proving that Lucifer (Satan) is a liar and, by comparison, impotent. JAH is demonstrating before a watching universe that even the weakest believer - with Him on his/her side - is more than a match for all the forces of evil. Lucifer wants to prove that he is wiser, stronger and could be a better ruler of the universe than JAH the Maker.
And so in his devilish zeal he attacks everything and everyone on Jah's side. When JAH blesses, Satan seeks to curse. When JAH gives joy, Satan tries to drown that joy in sorrow. When JAH gives light, Satan tries to snuff out the light with darkness. But Lucifer's efforts, though often temporarily successful, are in the end all doomed to failure. And the whole universe is about to witness his humiliating defeat. (Read about Lucifer's end in Isaiah chapter 14).
5. THE PATRIARCH JOB
Few men have suffered as much as Job did. He was a righteous man and served the Most High faithfully. Even Jah said that Job was perfect in all his ways.
- And Jah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth Jah, and escheweth evil?
The book of Job goes on to tell of how Job lost everything: the love of his wife, the lives of his ten children, all his possessions, his health and the respect of his community. Job's friends even thought that he was suffering because deep within his soul he must have been a very wicked man. They were 100% wrong. Job was suffering, unbeknown even to himself, to prove to the universe that he wasn't serving JAH for material gain; but because he loved Jah.
Satan had accused JAH of favouring Job; by trying to gain the patriarch's worship by bribing him with cattle, goods and material wealth. Of course Satan was totally wrong: but the naïve heavenly host of angels didn't know that. So Jah allowed Job to suffer the loss of virtually everything - including his health to prove that His servant's faithfulness was genuine and unselfish. And what was Job's reaction to his terrible suffering? He said this of the Adonay:
- Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:…
6. THE END OF SUFFERING
Suffering will come to an end one day; and that day is near. We are told in numerous Scripture passages that suffering of every kind is scheduled to end. Yes, believe it or not, the day is coming when there will be no more suffering, sickness, pain, sorrow or death.
- And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jahoshalem (Jerusalem), coming down from Jah out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of Jah is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Jah himself shall be with them, and be their Holy One. 4: And Jah shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
JAH will compensate His children a million-fold for all the suffering they have born for His Name's sake. The rewards the Jahzarenes (Nazarenes or Saints) will receive is beyond imagination! Consider these all-encompassing promises when you are despondent. And remember that they are soon to come true.
- For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1 Corinthians 2:9
- But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Jah hath prepared for them that love him.
Memorize these two verses. They will carry you through times of seemingly unbearable suffering. Many believers in past ages have born suffering with great fortitude. Do as they have done and hold fast to your faith: because suffering will end - and that very soon. JAH'S Word assures us of these facts.
Are you an obedient believer who finds yourself suffering in one way or another? Do you wonder why? Think about Job and the prophets of old. Think of the Apostle Paul. They too were faithful and they suffered greatly; probably far more than you ever will. Why did they suffer? The answer is, because the Almighty JAH was demonstrating in their lives one or more of the following facts:
That He can provide grace and strength
to meet every believer's need in every circumstance, no matter how bad it may become. He is always with His followers.
That even the very best believer is in danger of becoming smug, complacent and proud. Suffering keeps a person humble.
That JAH'S mighty power
is best demonstrated when we are at our weakest and most dependent moments. Because it is only then that we totally rely on Him
. At other times we tend to rely on our own abilities and resources, which at best are pathetic.
And that even under the worst conditions JAH'S power can help us overcome Lucifer's fiercest attacks
: pain, privation or persecution, it matters not. For when we are weak, then we are strong
“Yea, and all that will live jahly in The Messijah Jahoshuwah shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
This is a lesson all believers must learn - through the experience of personal suffering! Amen.
Praise Jah for His goodness and mercy! In the Jahshuwah's name for JAH'S Glory!
This article is from The Mount Zijon Assembly of Jah
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The Mount Zion Assembly of Jah is composed of Spiritual Jahzraelites (Israelites) that endeavor to keep the Laws, commandments and statutes of the Maker. We also observe the Maker's Festivals on His True Scriptural Almenach (Calendar).
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