Suffering and Blessing
There is quite a “theology of suffering” found in the book of 1 Peter. This continues in 1 Peter 3. Peter writes that suffering is inevitable for the follower of Jesus. But he also writes that there is a blessing for those who suffer: 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. Do we really believe this? Do we really see suffering for the sake of righteousness as a blessing? Or, are we quick to turn the tables on God and ask “why me?” when suffering strikes? I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering lately and how suffering is such an important and integral part of the Christian life…even a necessary part. Yet, how often we try to minimize it or avoid it all together. I suppose we try to avoid suffering so much because it is so personally unpleasant. But where in the word of God is personal unpleasantness something to be avoided for God’s people? It’s not something to be pursued for its own sake but it is understood to be something that will naturally and even necessarily accompany a life that is lived wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ. Don’t try to avoid suffering. Don’t shrink away from things that might lead to suffering. Rather, follow Jesus closely and when the suffering hits, know that with the suffering you are blessed.