“As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
-Romans 8:36-39 (NIV)
Walking with God can sometimes become a puzzling and frustrating journey…if you let it. There are times when you want to ask God, “Why me?” when you are faced with adversity. But the real question should be: “Lord, what is my purpose in this trial?” If you start to wonder why God has allowed your obstacle, then you need to look back to His Word and find the answer.
In Romans 8:36 we see that, as Christians and followers of Christ, we are “as sheep to be slaughtered.” Now, that would be a very scary statement if the flip-side didn’t reveal a victory at the end. If all we had to look forward to were the adversities of life with no light at the end of the tunnel, we would surely have a tough time enduring.
While the world might consider us “sheep to be slaughtered,” we are not animals without faith being led to death unknowingly. We are children of God being lead into life. Through our suffering, our faith allows Him to make us fruitful, even as others watch in doubt. And it is our duty to our Lord to show the world that, through obstacles, hardship, disease, poverty, or whatever we face, we walk in a light that can only be comprehended by the believer.
In Genesis 41:52 (NIV), Joseph says, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering." Similarly, if we stood face-to-face with Jesus today and asked Him if He LIKED the trials He endured to save our souls His answer would be no. No one LIKES to be put into the fire to see if they get burned, but Jesus suffered dearly for our sins to enable us to fellowship with Him in Heaven. I’m sure that He had a certain level of joy, but that is far different than actually liking the process. I’m sure He would have rather been on a journey where everyone loved Him, listened to Him and accepted Him, but the results wouldn’t have been the same. Because He endured adversity that no mere human could have endured, He achieved the amazing end result of our salvation and the payment for our sins.
This is the point: Does it really matter that we all suffer in our lives if we ultimately have everlasting life for our suffering? We are not here on earth for the satisfaction of our flesh but to be of service to God. Once we truly understand that, accept that and endure whatever we must to be in the will of God, our trials will no longer be trials but walks of faith.
God will test our level of faith through the adversity He allows us to endure. I do not like that I have multiple sclerosis, but I embrace the adversity as a means of exemplifying the power of God and His grace in my life. I am here as a testimony to His great love so that I can overcome what some would call a catastrophic situation in my life and to be a light to those whom I touch for the Lord. I do not consider myself as a sheep to be slaughtered. I am a willing believer who will take the journey with God through any suffering and obstacles that need be endured for His glory. Not only am I accepting the test of God, but I am testing myself each day. I will not fail the test. What about you?
1. In times of adversity, do you see yourself as a sheep to be slaughtered or as a child of God in His service?
2. Are you willing to allow God to test your faith?
3. Will you make a statement to the world that God’s love and grace is worth the trials and obstacles of life?