walk in the word
Reassurance of Faith, Relying on God, Sin / Suffering / Satan
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12
As a pastor, I spend a lot of time interacting with people who are in seasons of suffering. Every week I meet a few who tell me through tear-filled eyes or broken speech, ‘Pray for me, I lost my job…or the doctor says…or my marriage is in trouble . .. or my teenager is …’ The specific trial will be different, but the questions will be the same “Why has God allowed…?” or even better, “How do I get through this?”
Truth is, God told us not to be surprised when suffering hits. He ordained it for His own Son; He works through the trials to grow and shape us. First Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.”
Most of us go through life thinking that we can dodge the difficult thing; illness, divorce, loss might get the other person but it’s not going to get me. Then all of a sudden whack, it’s our turn and we’re devastated—not just by ‘the thing’ but by our lack of emotional and spiritual preparation.
Are you in that season of suffering right now? You’ll want to pay special attention to the message on the broadcast this week, “Reality Check on Suffering.” Isn’t it true that this furnace helps to clarify what’s important? Suffering pushes everything else aside and prompts us to say, “I want to live my life in a way that honors and pleases God.” We’ve spent enough time living like the world. Reebok says, “Life is short; play hard.” God’s Word says, “Life is short; stop playing.” We’re to live for God’s purpose. Suffering makes that very real.
Some people suffer the same thing you’re experiencing right now and they become awesome for God. Other people go through the very same trial and become hard and angry for the rest of their life. I’ve said it over and again, the same sun that melts ice also hardens clay. The choice is really ours.
Don’t be surprised when suffering come. In fact, expect it and plan for it. There is no better time than this moment to prove the promises of God.
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