If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. - 1 Peter 4:14-16
Suffering is inevitable. Period. Whether you are a Christian or not, you are guaranteed suffering in this world. But it is the way that you react in your suffering that sets you apart.
Peter says that we are to rejoice in our suffering and to glorify God. How can that be? How can we undergo hardships, trials, horrible, terrible grief, and still glorify God?
The truth is that God does not cause suffering. However, we did inherit a fallen world because of the sin that entered into man in the garden. You can’t live in a broken, fallen world surrounded by sin and not also have suffering. It is not His intention that any should suffer but He does use our suffering to create beauty beyond comprehension.
Just as a glassblower can only mold and shape and blend glass to make beautiful works of art, it is during those seasons of suffering and intense pressure in our lives that God molds us into even more beautiful creations.
I recently went through a season of suffering. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it was a short season, but it didn't feel short when I was there in the throes of it. I felt lost and worthless. Was it even possible for me to be used by God?
Even though I felt so separated from God during this season, it wasn’t until He brought me out of my suffering that He brought to my attention just exactly how He was using me throughout it all. And it is because of this season of suffering that I can stand on the other side now and say that He grew my faith. God used this valley to plant me in fertile soil and grow a strong and steadfast Christian… something that I would never say that I was before this season.
So, although suffering is inevitable, it doesn't have to be only painful. If we view our seasons of suffering as a time for God to refine us and create immeasurable beauty, then it becomes easier to rejoice during those seasons.
1. In what areas of your life have you seen God create beauty from suffering?
2. In what areas of your life are you currently experiencing a season of suffering? How can you see God's hand even now?
God, thank You! Thank You so much for Your attention to detail. Thank You for using my seasons of suffering to create beauty. Help me to rejoice in my suffering by knowing that even Christ suffered on this earth. Be with me during this season of suffering and help me to keep my eyes on You. Amen.
Want to know more about a relationship with God? CLICK HERE