The Suffering Saint
Throughout the Christian life, we face many sufferings. Some are real tests of faith and others are less of a hardship. Some sufferings come from the ungodly and some are sent by God to strengthen us. Sufferings seem like a daily occurrence among God’s people. We experience health problems, stress and ridicule. With all these adversity we are often left thinking why such things happen and how do we cope during these battles. There is much wisdom to be found in reading St. Peter’s first letter.
In the first chapter, Peter writes under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. ”Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” (1Pe 1:6) It is worth bearing in mind that temptations and trials are only for a season, they will pass. We must realise that when our faith is tested it is for good not evil. Do not grow weary and downcast. Peter reminds us that when Christ was insulted he did not retaliate (1 Pe 2:23). This example set by Christ is one we ought to follow. Christ entrusted himself to the safekeeping of God, the Father (1 Pe 2:23b).
I would like to draw you attention to the words of St. Peter recorded in 1 Pet 3:17-18, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” During his earthly ministry the Lord Jesus Christ suffered many temptations and was tempted in every way we are and yet without sin. He suffered an unjust death on the cross to deliver us from the curse of the law and to make us just in the sight of God. May we as God’s people adopt the same attitude regarding suffering. Read what St. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:1 and ponder the wisdom in this verse.
“Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
1 Peter 4:19