Suffering Reveals the Face of God
Philosophy View of Suffering
The condition of one who suffers, the bearing of pain or distress.
An instance of pain or distress.
Biblical View of Suffering
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 1st Peter 4:1 KJV
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 the Lord doth man live. Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV
Have you ever visited a familiar place or went to a special destination for a vacation and instead of enjoying yourself you ended up having a bad experience and left with unpleasant memories, so each time you visited those memories would come back?
Well modern day Patmos is one of those beautiful Island which if you ever visited could bring back some good memories. If you were to visit the island of Patmos in Greece today you might forget about feeling any sympathy for John who was exiled there by the Roman government for preaching the gospel of Jesus, yet though he might have been on an island it was recorded to be his prison.
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1: 9 KJV
The Greek word for exile —εξορία, Hebrew word for exile— גלות
The english word exile and its meaning:
Expulsion from one’s native land by authoritative decree.
The fact or state of such expulsion
A person banished from his or her native land.
Prolonged separation from one’s country or home, as by force of circumstances
Anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances.
The Exile, the Babylonian captivity of the Jews
To expel or banish (a person) from his or her country, expatriate.
To separate from country, home, etc.
John of Patmos had several names:
John the Revelator John the Divine
John the Theologian
And possibly John the Apostle
He could be the author named as John in the Book of Revelation.
John was the last remaining member of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ and was one of His close followers. The book of Revelation states that John was on Patmos, a Greek island where, by most biblical historians, he is considered to have been exiled as a result of anti-Christian persecution under the Roman emperor Domitian. But being exiled or imprisoned did not stop John from worshipping.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Revelation 1:10 KJV
John continued to express himself, one of the verses he wrote that says that ” it was the Lord’s day” and Ibwas worshipping in the Spirit.
When John was in the spirit on the Lords Day, he saw the Lord as he had never seen him before. Suffering for this testimony of Jesus did not cloud the face of God but rather revealed it.
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.
And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters.
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength
Revelation 1:12-16 KJV
Perhaps it’s hard for you to be in the spirit on the Lords day, maybe you feel like you are on an Island, isolated by circumstances, separated against your will from those you love. If you will stay in touch with God who has allowed these circumstances, you will see Jesus as you have never seen him before. So don’t waste pain.
Don’t waste the pain let it prove thee.
Don’t stop the tears let them cleanse thee.
Rest, cease the striving, soon you’ll be arriving in His arms.
Don’t waste the pain, let it drive you deeper into God. He’s waiting and you should have come sooner.
Suffering helps you to see God as you have never seen him before, just as John did. It also helps you to see aspects of Jesus’ character in a whole new way, just as John did. Once on the Mount of Transfiguration John had seen the glory of God in Christ, here he saw more of that glory. Whenever we are in the spirit, God can show himself to us, we can let suffering drive us deeper into God and know that he is waiting.
READ AND BE BLESSED