Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. ~1 Peter 4:12-13
Are you someone going through a very tough time? A tough time is when our circumstances get the best of us. There is immense pain and suffering when we go through a tough time. We feel like our circumstances just keep getting worse and that the downward spiral does not have a bottom. We hurt emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically. Peter gives us good help when we are hurting.
We see the reality.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” The reality is that all of us will go through seasons of hurt and pain. When it is our hurt and pain, we have a difficult time seeing the big picture and think we are the only one hurting. The reality is that all of us have trials. We should not think that a time of hurt and suffering is strange. Our faith will be tried, and we must accept the reality that trials are God’s plan for building us in our faith.
We see the response.
“But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings….” Our response is to rejoice. This seems so out of place when you are hurting, but we are to rejoice because God is giving us the privilege to be a partaker in Christ’s sufferings. Paul refers to this as the “fellowship of his sufferings.” It is a privilege for us to experience a taste of what our Lord experienced when He suffered for us. We understand the pain of anxiety and heartache. In all of this, we learn that the right response is to rejoice and be happy. We can rejoice and be happy because we know that God does not forsake us, and He is there with us in the midst of the fire (Daniel 3:25).
We see the refusal.
We must be careful that our hurting is not because of our own doing. First, don’t let your suffering be because of sin. Avoid committing sins that could disqualify your service, defile your spirituality, or disappoint the saints. Second, don’t let your suffering be because you are embarrassed of being a Christian. Be bold in the Lord and be unashamed of your testimony for Him.
We see the reason.
Why does God allow us to hurt and suffer? It is so that God is glorified in and through our lives. Complaining does a disservice to God’s plan for our life. Giving God the glory is being thankful that God has chosen to allow us to suffer hurt. Thank God for the privilege to suffer. Thank God for the pain that comes with suffering. Thank God for the patience that He develops in us. When we are hurting, we have the supreme privilege of giving God the glory for trusting us with this. When God receives the glory, others see Jesus in us. When God receives the glory, His grace is made perfect in our weakness. When God receives the glory, we are able to see clearly the good that He has in store for us.
You might be hurting, but help is close by. Stay upon the Lord, give your burden to Him, and have faith in His abundant resources to sustain you.
Have a God-glorifying God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Deuteronomy 21-23