Blessings out of Sufferings
What is your response to suffering? There is no escape from
intense pressures in this life, but it helps when we get God into the picture.
The apostle Peter wrote to a group of suffering Christians with words of
encouragement. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all
grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect,
confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
“After you have suffered for a little,” says Peter. The
suffering is temporary, in contrast and comparison to the eternal glory that is
in store for the believer.
Before God blesses us there come times of trouble,
distress, grief and pain. We can rejoice knowing the suffering is for a short
time, but out of the suffering comes blessings that cannot be had any other way.
“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an
eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Our
suffering is temporary, but it produces in us character that will last thought
God equips believers for His service through suffering. He
strengthens character in the fires of pressure.
“After you have suffered for a little while,” indicates the
blessings come only after we submit to the refiner’s fire. We cannot disregard
Who will bless us? “The God of all grace, who called you to
His eternal glory in Christ . . .” He is faithful and consistent in the way He
treats us. He is the “God of all grace.” Everything He does will be consistent
with His eternal glory. Whatever He begins in His grace will lead to His glory.
What He begins He will see through to completion. One day He will say, “Come to
Me you blood-bought sinners. Come unto My eternal glory.”
We have been called, not just to eternal glory, but God
“called you to His eternal glory in Christ.” He called you and me, sinners saved
by His manifold grace, to His eternal glory. He called us to that very glory and
honor in which the LORD God invests Himself forever. Yes, we who have “sinned
and come short of the glory of God” are called into His holy presence dressed in
His robes of righteousness.
The promise is “in Christ,” and to His glory. Everything
comes through Christ. He is the atmosphere or climate of the whole Christian
He gives us grace to meet every situation in life (Heb.
4:16). The standing invitation is “Come unto Me all you that are weary and heavy
laden.” Come you who are persecuted for righteousness sake; come you who are
weary, tired, hurting; come you who are suffering for the cause of Christ; come
you who are ravaged by a terrible disease. He gives out of His infinite grace.
God gives us His strength to meet the demands of life.
He is the God of all grace—quickening grace, pardoning
grace, cleansing grace, believing grace, sustaining grace, sovereign grace. The
God of all grace, manifold grace, has a storehouse that never runs out. It is
infinite, boundless, limitless, amazing grace.
Out of that constant supply of saving and sanctifying grace
God does a marvelous work in us. His goal is to “perfect” us. The word for
“perfect” in the original means to equip, to adjust, and to fit together, “to
put into order, to mend, to make whole.” It is also used for mending of torn
fishing nets, and the “setting a broken bone.” Everything that happens in our
Christian life is used to conform us to Christ. Whatever God has begun He will
complete in the day of Christ. God will make us just like Christ. Shall God fail
in His eternal purpose? Never. And He will not in your life or mine.
You cannot be perfected except by the refiner’s fire. God
uses the rod to chastise His children. Nothing but the rod will remove the
foolishness in our lives. The Holy Spirit uses these fires to remove every
corruption within. How is God restoring your broken nets, and setting your
God uses stress to set up, fix firmly, to establish and
strengthen the believer. “Confirm,” or “establishment” is to make solid like
granite. God tempers us in the hot fires of suffering. Sufferings make us
steadfast. It secures and stabilizes us and makes us mature believers. Suffering
has a way of focusing our eyes on Christ, and off of ourselves. Pressures in our
lives force us to rest upon the Rock of Ages. Our hope is fixed upon His blood
and His righteousness. We cannot be established on the solid foundation without
Peter also prays that the suffering will produce a solid
foundation for spiritual growth. Suffering also strengthens us spiritually. We
gain new strength by wrapping ourselves around the Lord. He gives us strength to
bear up under incredible suffering. When we depend upon God’s grace our
suffering will glorify God. The Christian learns to face life with the sense
that God is all he really need. Watch the Christian who has God with him.
Moreover, God strengthens His people as they undergo
suffering. He gives us grace and power in time of need. As we submit to Him, He
gives us the grace we need for the moment.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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