Suffering is something we all want to avoid. None of us invite pain. We tend to seek comfort and pleasure; it’s the way we are. We rebel against discomfort. We have innate defenses against that which hurts us or can bring harm. We buy things to eliminate pain. We invent things, we construct things, we work for things, we purchase things to bring us more comfort, more ease, more time to spend at ease. So when we face a season of suffering, our first reaction is to fix the situation–not accept it. We question why? Quite often, if we sit awhile and consider our discomfort–we can see our suffering is far, far less in comparison to another’s.
“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.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
We have conditioned ourselves to believe we should not suffer, be inconvenienced, or deal with pain. Yet, the Apostle Peter tells us to look beyond the temporary “grief in all kinds of trials”. They come to prove the “genuineness” of our faith. Anyone can suffer and whine. It takes a person full of faith, and a hope beyond the temporary difficulties of life, to bring glory and honor to God. Such is our joy. Our endurance through the suffering, our steadfast faith in God amid the trials–these bring refinement which results in praise and honor and glory.
Does this mean we should keep our suffering to ourselves–stay silent when heartache, discouragements, and grief press upon us? I don’t think so. I think when we suffer we have a great opportunity to show the grace of God. We may hurt. We may mourn. But we show the greatest honor to God as we stand firm in our faith in the midst of our suffering. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to smile…to laugh, or sing. Our Lord knows that. He suffered the cross to bring glory to the Father. He suffered alone. He does not want us to suffer alone. He left His Spirit to comfort us. He gives us one another to help carry our load. Knowing this, may we each find our voice to sing praises to Him for the victory He has set before us.
PRAYER: LORD, gives us voices to raise in praise to You in times we find most unbearable. Keep us ever close to You as we go through trials meant to strengthen our faith, and bring light of Your goodness to a lost world. We can all praise You on the brighter days, LORD. Give us Your Light to shine on those days which seem darkest before the dawn.