“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.”
1 Peter 1:6, NLT
So much has been written already from the perspective of suffering Christians. We live in a painful world; there are plenty of cuts and bruises to go around. Yet each blow we take is disturbing. I’ve met so many who have been unfairly brutalized and must walk through mental or physical disabilities. Some things are just brutal.
A great deal of recovery is simply allowing ourselves to be comforted in the Spirit, and to understand the Word to see what is really taking place, when we are walloped by an especially intense attack.
We may not have this in our understanding, but suffering provides us with incredible advantages and blessings. The bruises which hurt us, can also bring us wisdom. We learn many things, but only when we hurt. The challenge is not to waste our sorrows.
Suffering offers us benefits:
- Suffering verifies our faith (1 Pet. 1:6-7).
- Suffering confirms our sonship (Heb. 12:5-8).
- Suffering produces endurance (James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 5:10).
- Suffering teaches us to hate sin (John 11:33).
- Suffering promotes self-evaluation.
- Suffering clarifies our priorities (Dt. 6:10-13).
- Suffering identifies us with Christ (2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Thes. 2:14-15; Gal. 6:17; Phil. 3:10).
- Suffering can encourage other believers (1 Thes. 1:6-7; Phil. 1:14).
- Suffering can benefit unbelievers (Acts 16:16-34).
- Suffering enables us to help others (Heb. 4:15-16).
If you have ever been attacked, it can change you. Spiritually, our vision clears and we are no longer myopic people. We are now able to see things much clearer and with more discernment and wisdom. But the choice today is yours to make. Will you make suffering work for you?
“If you had never known physical pain in your life, how could you appreciate the nail scarred hands with which Jesus Christ will meet you?”
Joni Eareckson Tada
Unquestionably the pain is real. However, I honestly beg of you to make this transaction with the Holy Spirit. Exchange your anger and fear and doubt– for peace and confidence and joy. You’ll be no longer a victim, you will become a victor, if you use your pain to help others.