Suffering is like a season that comes upon us, often unexpectedly, and we must weather through it until it passes.
Many of us realize that some suffering will be endured for a lifetime. There are no seasons, it’s constant. If you do have a break it’s only enough to take a breath before the next season of suffering begins.
But why must we suffer?
To many, the answer seems obvious. The one I hear most often is “that there is sin in the world and we are going to suffer in this lifetime.” While this is true, we do suffer because of sin, it is not the full answer.
I Peter 1:1 says that those who are aliens in this world have been chosen but we also will be “distressed by various trials. (1:6) Why? Verse 7 tells us, so that the proof of your faith will be found to bring praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Christ. We suffer so that our faith will be proven true and through it God glorified.
There are other reasons also for our suffering, but for the sake of time I just want to focus on what 1 Peter tells us.
Further reading into 1 Peter we find in 2:19-20 that we to patiently endure unjust suffering. Patiently endure suffering for then we will find favor with God. Favor with God equals patiently enduring suffering.
Does that sometimes seem impossible to you? It does to me! But we have an example to follow. Chapter 2:21 tells us that we’ve been called for the purpose of suffering. Read that again! We’ve been called for the purpose of suffering. Why? Because Christ suffered for us and He left us an example to follow.
There was no sin in Him and yet He suffered for our sakes. How did He suffer? He entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously. (2:23)
We are to follow His example.
How are you suffering? Are you angry, wanting answers, blaming God or are you enduring patiently entrusting yourself to the One who judges righteously.
We will share in the sufferings of Christ and when we do we can have joy in it knowing that one day it will end when Christ returns. (4:12-14)
Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:19)Jesus thank you for allowing us the privilege to suffer as you have suffered. Jesus thank you for giving us an example to follow. When I think of enduring suffering patiently though I can imagine how I can. My flesh is weak Jesus and I know on my own I can not. So Jesus I ask that you lead me, help me and fill me with Your Spirit so that I will endure in such a way that finds favor with You and brings glory to Your name. Amen.