You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith — more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7 HCSB
We all go through seasons of life where nothing seems to go right, we endure tremendous loss, our security is threatened, and our faith is shaken to the core. We are constantly told to rejoice in suffering. The real question is, why should we rejoice? If God loves us, why are we going through hard times? What is the appropriate response to the times in our lives when we feel we can't go on?
We first must remember the cause of suffering is not God, it is sin. When sin entered this world, so did suffering. Suffering comes through circumstance, tragedy, and actions of our own consequence as well as others, but the core of suffering is sin, not God. Sometimes we weigh our performance against God’s love, blaming Him that things may not go our way when we have been good textbook Christians. Our self-serving deeds are filthy rags to God, nothing we can do can make Him love us more, and in the same respect, nothing we can ever do will make Him love us less.
Suffering is an opportunity to bring us closer to Christ. In our heartache, and in our hard times, we must look at these things as opportunities to draw near to Christ. As we draw near to Him, we begin to understand His love, his nature, and we relate to the suffering He endured so that we may enter into glory with Him.
Our struggles reveal our weaknesses, refines our hearts, and ultimately Christ gets the praise, honor, and glory. We will one day be in a place where sin does not exist, and God will be glorified for eternity. Because Jesus’ suffered for us, we get to spend eternity in the presence of God. What a day that will be!
God I thank you for every mapped out opportunity in my life; the good and the bad are things that refine and shape me, as well as glorify You. Help me to see trials as an opportunity to draw closer to you. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.
Are you in a difficult season?
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see your sufferings and trials as an opportunity to draw closer to God.
Spend time in the Psalms daily, not only reading them, but using them as a guide to prayer.