Suffering and the Kingdom

I remember some of the old timers from our valley and ridges talking about folks who were going through difficult times and using the rhetorical phrase, “I don’t know how they have ‘walkin’ around sense?”

That’s the truth. When you look at the suffering of some folks, you think, “How do they keep their senses about them?” I am amazed how some people go through horrific things and seem to weather the storm with supernatural strength. Well, it is with supernatural strength. God gives the that extra “Umph!” to get them over the line.

Suffering is a universal dilemma. Since the Fall of man and creation in the Garden, humanity and creation have struggled with much suffering. On the grand scale we have come through wars, famines, persecutions, pandemics, and tyrants. On a personal level, people deal with sickness, addictions, depression, financial difficulties, abuse, family problems, and death, just to name a few.

If some being from a benign planet were to observe our history, they would think Hell had been unleashed upon us. Just so you know, Hell (Satan) has been loosed and seemingly on a long leash. God has ultimate eternal control but, in His sovereignty, allows the free will of man and the evil antics of the devil.

Theologians and philosophers have grappled with why God has establish this world as He has but He is ultimately sovereign.

In the beginning God gave the dominion of the earth to Adam and his kind. When the first couple sinned, death and destruction came into God’s creation with the “The Fall of Man”. This turn of events tossed the dominion of the world to the devil. The Bible refers to Satan as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11), “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and “god [lower case g] of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

When Jesus came into this world and spoke about the Kingdom of God (or Heaven), He was speaking about an interjection of God’s rule in this dimension of fallenness. As He said, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 10:7 NKJV).

The Kingdom of God is like a greater pressure sphere within another sphere, namely the kingdom of this world. The Kingdom of God displaces the kingdom of this world when God’s people live out Jesus in this world.

Try this experiment: fill a bowl with water and sprinkle black pepper on the water surface, then invert a glass into the bowl. You will notice the air pressure in the glass will displace the water. This is a great demonstration of how the Kingdom of God/Power of God displaces the evil forces of this world. God did not undo the evil in the world, but He sent His Son into this world to displace the evil dominion.

When we live out the principles of God’s Word empowered by the Holy Spirit, God through us displaces the evil in our sphere. Someone said most of us on average know about one thousand people and each one of those people know about one thousand. Multiply that out and we find that there is an opportunity for us to influence one million people. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Reach out and touch someone with your anointed hand.

Many times, in my young life there was another old time saying I remember from church testimony meetings, an old saint would say, “Oh, listen brothers and sisters, as God’s children, we live far below our privileges in the Lord!”

Amen, my long departed now ancient friends. We are God’s children, not orphans in this suffering world. We have a Father in Heaven who has invaded earth with His Son Jesus Christ and His Kingdom is at hand [now]. In Christ Jesus, He has tossed the keys back to us and says, “Go unlock some chains to let the captives go free and bind the evil of this world.!”

Yours on the Journey,

Harry L. Whitt

P.S. Rest assured, at some point in the future, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire and the rule of God will be complete and final. All the tyrants of the world and the wicked will join the flames.

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15 NKJV).

9 Replies to “Suffering and the Kingdom”

  1. Great word this morning. It paired well with my reading of Romans chapter 5 just moments ago. The inverted glass was a great illustration also.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God has ultimate eternal control but, in His sovereignty, allows the free will of man and the evil antics of the devil.
    Man decides what he wants to do in
    his life, the choices he wants.
    Debbie Gibbs

    Liked by 1 person

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