Suffering

Harry Buis

READ : 1 Peter 4:12-19

Some people think that being a Christian means God will make everything easy. When trouble comes, they are angry with God, thinking He has not kept His promises. But the Bible tells us to expect difficulties (v. 12). For the early Christians, difficulties often came in the form of persecution. Most of us do not have that type of difficulty, but we can expect suffering in life.

When suffering comes, it is easy to be sour, but Peter says we should be happy (v. 13). The reason is that the Christian can expect the cross-crown pattern, which Jesus experienced, to be ours as well. God has purposes for suffering, even when we cannot understand them, even as suffering played a part in the life of our Lord.

We must be careful that our suffering is not the result of our own wrongdoing (v. 15). Many people bring trouble upon themselves. If we suffer, it should be in spite of the fact that we are doing what is right.

Above all, when we suffer, we should put ourselves in the hands of our gracious God (v. 19a). He has promised that in all things He will work for good. He has promised to be with us in the trials of life. He has promised that the best is yet to come. And no matter what happens, keep doing good to other people (v. 19b).

PRAYER

Father, may the difficulties of life not drive us from You, but rather draw us closer to You. For the sake of Jesus. Amen.