Friday, November 20, 2009

Suffering Has Benefits

It is one of God's favorite tools.

1 Peter 1:6-7  So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.

7  These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.

So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

1 Peter 2:21  For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

1 Peter 3:14, 17  But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't worry or be afraid of their threats. 17  Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

1 Peter 5:10  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

The first letter that Peter wrote to the early church told them a great deal about the fact that they would suffer and how they were to view suffering. Suffering was a fact of life for the early church and it still is for the church in many parts of the world today, it seems that if we are not suffering then perhaps there is something wrong, maybe the average American Christian is too comfortable for his own good.

From our perspective, suffering = bad, uncomfortable, stressful, worry, fear, dread

From God’s perspective, suffering = good, purifying, rewarding, prove your faith, partner with Christ, God’s glory revealed, praise, glory and honor to you, an opportunity to restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation, part of being Christ-like.

In the middle of your trials and suffering, don’t forget that God is good and that he loves you no matter how uncomfortable that he has allowed you to be.

Thank you Lord for reminding us that you are good and that you love us even if we don't get to be comfy and cozy.