Do you rejoice in suffering?
I can be honest and admit that I don’t, well I didn’t, but I am learning to count it all joy.
All my life I’ve endured suffering, not always understanding it and certainly not rejoicing in it. The Lord gave me the strength to stick it out and not run, but trust me I did a lot of crying out to Him. After all, who wants to suffer?
I have to share this with you: The Lord is growing me in understanding suffering. He’s changing my attitude toward it.
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” – I Peter 1:6
What gets me here is if need be. This tells us that there are times when we need to suffer.
As I reflect on that, and look back over my life, I can honestly say that the times that I suffered are the times that made me a much more beautiful person. Suffering really does change us, and when we understand it and embrace it with Christ, it changes us for the better.
Can you imagine the type of person you would be if you never experienced any pain?
Prideful, insensitive, harsh? We would have no understanding or compassion on others if we never suffered ourselves.
We need suffering. We also need to better understand it.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” – I Peter 2:21
As Christians, we were called to suffer.
Yes, we are saved, blessed, glorified, justified, chosen, immovable in Christ- We are children of the most High God. We must also know that have been called to suffer. However, we are also prepared, equipped, and more than able to handle anything that comes our way. Our Savior serves as our perfect example on how to suffer, AND He’s with us and in us so we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
So, what’s the problem?
We just need to get our minds right toward suffering. We need to better understand suffering, adjust our attitude, and walk through, knowing that we already have the victory. To question our victory is to question whether our not God has us. God has us, loves us, and will never set us up for failure. Never. So, if it’s in front us of us then we can handle it. If we couldn’t, He would’ve never let it get to us.
Whatever comes our way has made it past His desk first.
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” – Job 2:6
The Lord allowed Satan to try Job, but how did it end?
“So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:” – Job 42:12a
Suffering is not the end, it’s simply a part of the process.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” – James 1:2-4