Andy Cook said, “We’re not fond of pain, or even slight discomfort. We rebel at the suggestion of it, recoil at the sight of it, and reject the suggestion that it might be good for us. But the lessons of life are almost always taught in the classroom of suffering —whether it’s “suffering” during an elementary-school spelling quiz, dealing with the excruciating pain of disease, or the heartbreak of grief.” Andy Cook is right. No one goes looking for pain. Despite attempts to claim it can be avoided if you have enough faith, experience, history, and biblical examples like Job, Joseph, Paul, and even our Lord, all testify that suffering is a reality even for people of great faith. Coping with pain is often eased when we have confidence in almighty God who guides and controls all that happens to us. James, in Ch 5, urges us to be patient in our painful trials. He cites the examples of a farmer who patiently waits for his crops to mature, and of Job whom God blessed after patiently suffering. When we endure without grumbling, God gets the honor, others benefit, and we ultimately experience enormous joy.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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