Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Suffering with a Purpose

In our Christian walk and in life, we go through trials that bring us such pain and sorrow. These trials can come in the form of family members “stabbing” you in the back, vicious rumors being spread about you, false accusations from people you thought were for you, etc.  We sometimes sit back and wonder, “How could God allow me to go through this? How could he allow me to hurt so much?” Well whenever I find myself asking these questions, I think of God and how He suffered that we might live.  He was talked about, rumors were spread about Him and even worst, he was beaten and nailed to the cross to die for our sins.  After thinking about this, our suffering does not seem that bad after all, huh? The problem is that we do not look at our suffering from God’s point of view.   
From our point of view, all we can see is pain, hurt, and sorrow, however from God’s point of view, there is a purpose behind our suffering.  1 Peter 2:20-21 says, “…But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps”. You may wonder how can suffering be a good thing? Well this verse explains it all.  It all depends on what you are suffering for. If you are suffering for spreading the gospel but people reject you, its ok. If you are suffering for telling someone the truth after they asked for your advice but instead they turn around and make you the villain, it’s ok.  Suffering for good is what God likes to see.  It is what we are called to do.  He set the example for us when He died for our sins.  He suffered all the things we suffer today but probably a million times worst. I can’t even begin to fathom being nailed to a cross to die for people who do not care about me and what I have to say. Honestly, I would probably say, “Whatever, Where ever they end up is their business”.  Thank you Jesus for not taking on that mentality.  He instead endured the suffering so that we could receive grace and salvation. 
When we suffer, there is always a purpose. If your vision is to see the kingdom of God expand with people who have received the gospel, then you must endure some pain. You must suffer.  In expansion there is pain but you must endure this pain in order to birth the promise that God has for you. The great thing about suffering with Christ is that you are ALWAYS victorious at the end.  No matter how bad it may seem, you will always have the victory.  As the verse says God set the example. He was victorious in the end. People thought that that was the end of Him when He drew His last breathe.  I’m sure many threw a party (ok maybe I’m not sure). One thing I am sure about is that after enduring the pain and the suffering, He rose again with power and shut the mouths of all who did not want to believe. Just as Jesus was victorious, we will also be victorious.  So the next time you are down and wondering why you are suffering so much in the midst of trying to do well, remember that you are suffering with a purpose and that the reward in the end will be greater than what you went through.