The Suffering Of The Saints

 

Suffering, it seems, is a daily occurrence among God’s people: Health problems, persecution, financial stress, etc., etc. How are we to understand it? How are we to cope? In studying 1 Peter, I discovered eleven ways we are to respond to suffering:

 

1. Rejoice, recognizing your faith is being tested and purified — “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trialsYour faithmay be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed… ” (1:6-8)

 

2. Do not retaliate against your tormentors — “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.” (2:23)

 

3. Follow Christ’s example in entrusting yourself to God — “Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (2:23b)

 

4. Do not be afraid — “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” (3:14b)

 

5. Follow Christ’s example in suffering for doing good — “It is better, if it is Gods will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” (3:17, 18)

 

6. Adopt Christ’s attitude toward suffering —”Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.” (4:1)

 

7. Rather than being surprised, rejoice in the fact that you are participating in Christ’s suffering — “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (4:12, 13)

 

8. Be unashamed in your suffering and association with Christ —”If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” (4:15, 16)

 

9. Amidst the suffering, commit yourself to God, and continue to do good — “So then, those who suffer according to Gods will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. ( 4:19)

 

10.Resist Satan, recognizing that other believers are also suffering at his hand — “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (5:9, 10)

 

11.Anticipate His restoration — “And the God of all graceafter you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (5:10)

 

 

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