Going through my Oswald Chambers for today and he takes on the concept of “suffering” in terms of God and the Bible, referring to 1st Peter Chapt. 4 &5. Reading through all that really got me to thinking.
God repeatedly speaks of suffering as though it is a good thing!? That is not only inevitable but desirable?! Why it this?
Because if we understand that it is inevitable, we will have a different attitude about it. We will be better equipped to face it rather than surprised by it. And more importantly perhaps, we will have the awareness and foresight to look beyond our immediate circumstance and our own condition, and begin to look for the purposes of God in what we are enduring. Why has he led me here? What purposes are being served?
This trial, this suffering may not even be about me. I may have been placed here to minister to someone else, or accomplish a mission, purpose or goal far beyond my own narrow vision. And if I am only looking at myself, focused so completely on the depths of my own personal inconvenience, I may miss that opportunity entirely!
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NASB)
Challenge: Am I so focused on my own condition that I may be missing the work God is doing around and through me? Lord, help me to daily remember that even in times of sorrow, suffering or persecution, you are there. Help me be open to your will, no matter the circumstance.