A recent question in a Bible study I am in asked "What is your reaction when you have to go through a time of suffering?" I didn't have to think twice. My answer? I DON'T LIKE IT!
I don't like conflict.
I don't like pain.
I don't like to be hurt.
I don't like knowing those I love are hurting.
I don't like uncertainty.
I don't like my world being turned upside down.
Yet Jesus said, "In this world you WILL have tribulation."
Well, isn't that comforting!
No, but the rest of his statement is: "But be of good cheer, for I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD."
Our suffering has a purpose. It is to purify us as we are tried in the furnace of affliction. Just as a silversmith must return the ore to the fire many times to remove the dross, so we must go through trials and tribulations in order to transform us to the image of His Son.
Do you know how a silversmith knows when the silver is finally refined?
When he can see his reflection in it.
Yes, suffering is painful and none of us would rush to sign up for it. Yet, we must remember it is for a reason. II Corinthians 4:17 says "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory".
If you are suffering today, if you are in the midst of a trial or conflict, ask God that HE might be glorified in it, that you might cooperate with Him in his eternal purposes and that He would be your strength through it.
4 hours ago