If You can believe that God is truly the one who orchestrates events in your life then is it possible that you may see yourself about to enter a place you do not wish to go but realize that go you must? Of course we can certainly reference the fact Jesus came to this earth with a prescribed purpose to suffer and die for the sake of mankind.Though he was adorned with foreknowledge of his purpose still there was thought and consternation as to its fulfillment. Accordingly, we too as followers of our King can also find in situations placed before us a scenario full of pitfalls that can even involve a separation from a sense of closeness to God. But you must go because it has been assigned unto you by the One who has purpose in your doing so. My Lord does this have to be because I do not wish to leave the peace and sanctity of where I am. You are lowering me down into the meanness of a life I do not want and I don’t know if I should come out again. It seems so distant from my concept of Christianity and my understanding of what is right and wrong. How can a man be engaged in worldly issues and relationships that appear so untoward toward the Father and his Lord? Can I learn Spiritual issues by drawing parallels with natural living and meaning to the Spirit. Can a human love be shown to enable comparisons as to how one might love and interact his Lord in Spirit? Are you then not sending me into the wilderness for a time for purposes yet unknown to me? Will you yet find find me and guide me when the man is so consumed with other considerations and demands? Will I cry out and wonder whether or not you have left me and shall I say Lord why hast thou forsaken me? Is a man dead without dying? But you shall go not knowing why, just as you have entered many places not truly knowing why. But in obeying and stepping out in faith, I do truly clarify. I do make your understanding clear. Shall I then being but a lowly man, challenge that which he cannot see or yet understand? Did I at one time agree to this, did I say once long ago “Here I am Lord send me? Did the Father know then that I had promise to walk through the shadow of death to live again? Will the scars from my warfare remain? I think they must for did they not see scars and points of contact upon our Lord and Savior?
Suffering is the forge of God. There his firstborn Sons are heated, hammered, and fashioned into the mettle of Christ. Jesus Christ and all his brothers have been prepared by suffering. It is the foundry of life. When Job experienced this he cried out for his own destruction, for death seemed preferable to the continued pain that had become his daily bread. Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! But God had in mind only the blessing of Job, and an eternal award of life and wisdom. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. Hagar suffered the terror of a double death, as she was rejected by her husband and also faced the imminent death of her son. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she lift up her voice, and wept. But God had already saved the lad and made him mighty upon the earth. God wanted her to have an experience in suffering, but the outcome was never in doubt. As for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget. There was a time when Rebekah’s heart was crushed for her sons, when all she valued appeared poised for destruction. And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, what good shall my life do me? But before she had travailed, God had already provided abundantly for her and her children. And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. The sufferings of this earth have been programmed by God. They are not accidental, and the end is always secure. Joseph was sold as a common slave by his own brothers. Instead of a happy life with his family, he found servitude and prison, and this in spite of his righteous character. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. But this suffering worked into Joseph the character of God. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art.
It has been said, “the dungeon didn’t need Joseph, Joseph needed the dungeon.” Through suffering, God prepared Joseph to become ruler of all Egypt. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. Joseph’s experience in suffering filled him with wisdom, blessing, and the character of God. But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. When Moses was young he had every earthly delight. He was set up for a cushy life in Pharaoh’s household. But tranquillity and wealth are not the indicators of Sonship. Moses became qualified to rule, only after he had suffered in a lengthy torment of apparent failure. Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. To Moses, the suffering necessary to bring forth the anointing of Christ was more important than any earthly thing. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. Moses turned away from the “good” things of Egypt, and casting upon the mercy of God, wandered forty years as a shepherd in the Sinai desert. All his former princely estate, his prestige and past grandeur, he counted as loss. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Daily he fought the tauntings of inadequacy, as he waited for the promise of God. This experience prepared Moses to become the leader of his nation. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. When the Israelites were suffering in the wilderness, they believed they would die. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? But God had a different idea. He knew that their suffering was a means to an end. Ye are the sons of the living God.
The Israelites expected death, but in reality they had been selected for royalty. Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. So also with you. When you think you have been abandoned by God, when you can take no more, know that you have been selected to rule. David knew that his suffering was from God. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. He lived much of his life in constant fear of death. Truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. But this is the method that God used to prepare David for eternal greatness. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. Elijah had killed the prophets of Baal, but then ran in fear from Jezebel. In despair he wished for death. He requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. But God had something different in mind. He saw Elijah’s suffering as a preparation for glorious immortality. Behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. King Hezekiah felt impending doom and expected death. I shall not see the LORD, … he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. But this anguish was simply the vehicle of God’s mercy and blessing. I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
Jonah was confused and depressed unto death. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. But through his suffering, God brought forth victory and saved alive a multitude of people. And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Jeremiah’s life was a living hell. The daily events that framed his world had become sorrowful bitterness. He had good reason to believe that he would be killed at any moment. They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me. Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off. But God had a different perspective. He knew that Jeremiah’s pain was just part of the plan. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. … Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Jeremiah’s suffering prepared him to become a principal ruler of the world. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms. Jesus Christ suffered an untimely and undeserved death, when he was thirty-three years old. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. But through this suffering process he was made perfect, and exalted to the throne of God. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Had Jesus not been slain, he would not have been worthy, and the same goes for you. The supernatural power of suffering extends even to God himself, for he has subjected himself to all the pain of his creation. His plan of suffering reaches into his own heart, as he accepts the travail of bringing forth his firstborn Sons. Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! But God also sees the end from the beginning. He well knows that his suffering will bring forth his delight, and his pain will turn to the greatest joy he has ever known. No more will they call you “Forsaken”; No more shall they call your land “Waste”; But you shall be named “My Delight.” Your God will rejoice over you. (Fenton).
It is not possible for your resurrection to occur prior to your death. Before resurrection rises in your heart, you will have experienced the death of every earthly desire. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. It is the loss of your carnal portion that makes way for the double portion of God. Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Suffering is the foundry of life. Every tear and each stabbing pain has been ordained to work resurrected life in you. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. As with Hagar and Rebekah, God’s supply precedes your need. As with Joseph and Jeremiah, prison is your preparation for power. As with Job, Elijah, and Jonah, a lamenting desire for death is God’s design for your victory. As with David and Hezekiah, terror is a teacher to the Sons of God.