Updated: Jul 2
Knowing the why of your life and ministry is important. It can save you wasted time and wasted effort and laboring in vain. But knowing the why of certain trials and difficulties you are having is also important. Look at the “why” in these verses:
“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:29-32)
Notice the expression, “for this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” or die prematurely. The reason is basically “not discerning the Lord’s body” both physically and also spiritually. For example, not discerning other members and ministries in the body of Christ and walking in love toward them can be the cause of much weakness, sickness, and even death. This is one of the first places in our walk with God my wife and I evaluate and constantly check.
Have we harbored any offense or ill-will in our hearts toward anyone? Have corrupt words, critical words, gossip or slander come out of our mouths? Are we treating others like we would want to be treated? Are we walking in obedience to what the Lord has told us in His Word and by His Spirit? Are we walking in the light we’ve been given? In our recent trials these were the first questions we asked ourselves — the first place we looked.
ANOTHER REASON FOR TRIALS
But there is another area we must look at. Remember that Satan hindered the apostle Paul several times, not because of what he wasn’t doing, but because of what he was doing. This was also true in our case. My wife Carolyn received that Rhema word from God that answered the “why” of my severe trial.
“Your husband is a John the Baptist like-one and Satan is trying to cut off his head and silence his voice.”
Think about that for a moment.
John the Baptist did not do anything wrong. He was not living in sin. It was his calling and voice that Satan, through Herod, silenced. When we traced my voice over recent years the Lord reminded me even through other friends of mine, how much of a loud trumpet and unapologetic voice my life and ministry had become — particularly in some of our writings. (Once again, I am not boasting, but simply stating an understanding the Lord began to unfold to us. It is for your benefit and for the purpose of being armed and prepared to face the difficulties and trials of the coming end-time crisis.)
I was preaching and writing against the sins of our nation and sins of the Church — exposing much evil and corruption. For example, I’ve been writing for Charisma magazine for many years, and shortly after Obama endorsed gay marriage making it a national law, I began to rebuke this act and write strongly against homosexuality and gay marriage. Hundreds of thousands of people read these articles, and many hated me for it. I received hate mail and even death threats because of it. There were voice mails left on our ministry phone from homosexuals cursing us. Nothing makes the devil more furious than exposing his agenda to weaken the Church and the nation. But these really are only light afflictions compared to what our poor and persecuted brethren suffer in other nations.
NOT EVERY TRIAL NEEDS A REASON
We must, however, also realize that not every single trial has a reason. We simply experience many trials because we are disciples of Jesus Christ who are not conformed to the spirit of this age, and we live in a fallen world. It’s as simple as that. But for every trial there can also be a higher purpose of being more conformed to the image of Christ. We are soldiers of the cross, people. Let’s live like it.