Saturday, September 27, 2008

In Suffering I Rejoice...

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Romans 5:3-7

This past season of life for me has been one of the most trying of times. Through it all, I rejoice, because I know that God is developing endurance in me. You normally don't want to endure anything. The word endurance is usually correlated with suffering and trials. Yet, its only through suffering that we can develop character. I'm learning more and more that character doesn't come over night. It's built over time. I don't know why I'm facing the challenges I have been facing, but I do know one thing I need Jesus more than ever at this moment.

My family has been going through trials. My closest of friends have been going through trials. My ministry has been going through trials. My personal life is being tried as I write this. In all of this, I cling to the above verse knowing that in the midst of problems and trials that God is developing within me endurance, this endurance produces character, and this character cements in my inner man a confident hope in Jesus Christ that can never be shaken by life circumstances.

Who wants to suffer? Not me! But, if suffering comes I rejoice because I know God is getting His way in me. Everything in life that happens, good or bad, is for one purpose: that we may know Christ more (Phil 3:10)

It's in the most trying of times, that I must make the most difficult of decisions. It is in the fiery furnace of trials that I learn to become a man. Because men are not born, they are made. How can a man become a man unless he is faced with challenges that he must overcome? How can a man rise higher if he is not first brought lower? How can a man be proven faithful unless he first has the opportunity to exercise faith? Is life fair? Certainly not. Jesus died without justice. But through His suffering and death injustice was overcome by His great love for us. In the face of unbearable suffering, trial and death on a cross, Jesus rose up to the challenge and made a decision that only a man could make. He faced fear with faith and became the ultimate God and Man, the Savior of the world. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2).

Being a man of God has very little to do with public ministry or recognition. Ministry is easy, living life is a challenge. Preaching on a stage is easy, but preaching with your life is what counts. Being a man of God has everything to do with being faithful in the little things, being obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit with every action big or small, being a man means making the tough decisions you have to make to protect the life of others even when others don't agree. It is about being a man who is faithful to God, his family, and loving others with purity of heart. None of these things can be proven in a man without having to face life problems and trials. So I rejoice!

With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. For it has been in these moments of suffering, that I have felt the closeness of the Holy Spirit more present with me than ever before. I need Him, want Him and desire Him because without Him all would be meaningless. But with Him, everything makes sense and life with all its unpredictability's finds purpose because my hope is in Him. He loves me. That's all that matters. Life is a beautiful struggle that brings us one step every day closer to Him. In this I rejoice! That I may know You more Jesus.


At 9/27/2008 10:22:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

[Exodus 17:14-16]
Thanks to your sharing!
Surely, all of you can be rejoice.
Because of over 600 millions dead was not your countries. Thus one day Our nation restored. Only one day! We still survive and in wholeness of HIM with suffering.
In present, similar case happened. Let's see our Jesus what he did and what he is doing and what will do for "Modern way Amalak" -- Exodus 17:14-16

At 9/27/2008 10:36:00 PM , Blogger Yoyo Wat said...

It's ture that when we run in to problems,God let us know,we need HIM more,to rely on HIM more,love HIM more.
and now I can rejoice too though i run in to trials.
Coz Jesus w/ us!=)

Bless you man!

At 9/28/2008 09:08:00 AM , Blogger David said...

Great post Jae! Truer words have never been spoken by Jaeson Ma..hahahha well maybe..but regardless..great post! Helped me A lot. Keep on keepin on bro. You're awesome.


At 9/28/2008 01:20:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciate your realness here Jaeson! May King Jesus give you strength through this season brother.


At 9/28/2008 06:22:00 PM , Blogger JuliaLee said...

Jaeson, thank you for being real. It's encouraging to see you enduring through suffering-- enduring with hope. I feel your pain but also the joy/intimacy with Christ that comes with suffering.

I'm reminded of 2 verses:
"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him." &
"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in His death..."

I pray that as you fellowship in sharing with Christ's suffering (and what an honor it is to partake in that with the Lord!), that you would also experience His resurrection power and glory. He is doing a good good work in you, brother, although I know it's hard and it hurts. I'm excited for the glory that will come at the end of this season. Blessings!

At 10/01/2008 08:51:00 AM , Anonymous Gemi Tan said...

Jaeson, Yr sharing remind me of something shared by Ps Philip Mantofa during OneThing (Taipei).
That regardless of the circumstances, Our God Is a Good God, we might not understand but always believe that Our God is Good and He is Love.
For His plans is to prosper us and not to harm us, for He Loves us.
Gambatte ne!

At 10/01/2008 11:35:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was recently at a conference listening to Dr. Siang Yang Tan, from Fuller was awesome..hard, but awesome..he ended our time with a it is:

This ‘blessing’ was prayed over Henri Nouwen by his spiritual mentor:

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.


At 10/15/2008 09:19:00 PM , Anonymous sto said...

Now that you mentioned it, I'd like to introduce a book written by Henri Nouwen about his wrestling with and meditation on pain and suffering in his own spiritual journey: "The Inner Voice of Love 心靈愛語: 當我陷入靈命低潮的時候", it gave me so much insight about facing pain, living with pain, getting through pain.

If we can overcome it, we are on our next level of our spiritual journey, a highway, I supposed.

JMA always looks happy and ok, so I'm a bit surprised what you go through when I read this...Anyhow, all things work together. Shalom!


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