I am sure you have had times when everything you read brings you to a particular topic or a certain verse. I have been reading through various books and devotionals and have come across many things written on suffering. I picked up a devotional and read the WRONG day and it was about suffering. From the words written in Discovering God’s Daily Agenda by Henry and Richard Blackaby I read this:
“The Greek word translated “to suffer” originally meant “to experience something from the outside,” whether good or bad. But over time the word lost the positive meaning it came to be used solely for unpleasant experiences, for unjust punishment, abuse, threats, insults or discrimination. The word is used forty-two times in the New Testament, mostly to describe Jesus’ suffering on the cross and the persecution of His followers. Interestingly, Paul only used it seven times in all of his New Testament writings, while Peter used it eight times in 1 Peter alone.
The Apostle Peter suggests that to endure unjust suffering for the sake of Christ is to follow His perfect example. It is not something for which Christians should feel ashamed. While unbelievers may experience good fortune on earth, they will ultimately suffer for eternity. Believers, however, may face adversity on earth, but their reward will be everlasting life.
Suffering is common to all people. We have the choice of suffering as a result of our sin and rebellion, or suffering as a result of righteousness. The former is at the hand of God, and the latter is in the hand of God.”
That last paragraph really jumped out at me and gave me a greater understanding of suffering. It seemed to answer a lot of “why” questions. Why am I suffering? Here is a simple test. Is my suffering a result of sin or of righteousness? It also answers a bit more for me, how do I handle my suffering? I either handle my suffering with repentance or I handle my suffering by trusting in Jesus Christ. How will you and I choose to view our suffering? How will you and I handle our suffering today?
Kathy’s on staff at America’s Keswick in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 29 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and has taught Sunday school and Bible studies for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.