What good thing could possibly come out of suffering? This is a valid question, and you might be surprised at the number of common-sense answers you discover. If your parents were loving and fair, you can think back to times of childhood discipline and see the benefits it brought to your character. Perhaps, as a parent, you have had to punish your child, knowing it was exactly what your child needed to adjust his or her behavior. From a warrior’s perspective, you readily endured some level of suffering in boot camp to prepare for the battlefield. And, maybe, that suffering has saved your life.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7, NKJV).
It’s not too difficult to connect low-level suffering with the gains we believe are worth the pain. But there are also intense seasons of suffering that offer no easy answers. If you are in such a place, commit those questions to God. Peter reminds followers of Christ that God uses trials to mold our faith. Peter directs our attention to “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” in other words, the future reign of our Savior that will last for eternity. That future-focused perspective is vital when today’s pain offers no relief or clear purpose. Solid, strong faith is forged in the furnace of affliction. If you are going through a trial, take heart. It won’t last forever, but you will have a stronger faith that will.
If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.
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