Suffering and Human Nature

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It’s human nature to loathe suffering. We just don’t like it! How many of you have rejoiced when suffering came your way? When suffering comes my way, I often either run to God complaining and telling him why I don’t deserve it (ha – I am such a sinner!), or I find myself running from him, hurt that He would chose this for me.

Peter writes to the followers of Jesus in the Roman Empire, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9

These people were not exactly in a happy season with wars and all sorts of other atrocities occurring. Yet, Peter reminds us here to rejoice though we may be going through suffering, or have recently gone through it. He then goes on to remind us that these sufferings are a source of refinement. God uses these sufferings to refine our faith, even more so than the mineral gold is refined, which is worth a lot.

What is more to note is that from this rejoicing we show God praise, honor and glory. As a result we are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy, and the salvation of our souls.

Today, ask God to be present with you as you reread 1 Peter 1:6-9. How might God be asking you to apply this to today? If you are presently going through a struggle, how are you rejoicing? If you aren’t rejoicing, do you need to confess anything?

If things are good right now, I would encourage you to think back to the last suffering you experienced. What was your reaction? How can you prepare yourself to rejoice well when the next season of suffering comes along?

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