1 So then since Christ suffered physical pain,you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer,too For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God
1 Peter 4:1-2
It is not my intent to say to you dear readers that you must suffer to know God. There is no doubt many folks who have not had great suffering in their lives and pain and still know and serve God. It is my intent to lead you to thinking about the fact that if there is suffering or great loss in or persecution in your life’s, then this will draw you to Christ and the world and life as you knew it before will take on a new meaning. You will want what God wants. What you desire will not be that important any longer. God draws you closer to him as you turn to him for help with your suffering. You realize you are not in control any longer and must rely on God to see you through and sustain you.
At this time you are as little children not knowing where to turn and finding no relief from man or the world. So with child like faith and a desire to have peace and knowledge of what’s happening you turn to God. Here is where you begin to know God.
You find you are not in control or that you where trying to control your life and made a mess out of it. Or maybe persecution and trouble is so great you are in fear for your life. I always say if God can’t who can. This brings you to him fully trusting in him,not your own understanding of things. You are no longer manipulating things or controlling things God is. In fact most of the time you have no ideal what God is doing. You are just trusting in him to get you through this life changing event.
You see we live from one physical pleasure to the next, at least most of us do. Rarely calling on God or listening to him and asking what he thinks or hearing him speak. I got this God. We don’t realize life when following Christ has suffering and discipline and great character change in it. Its down right tuff going. There is very little physical pleasure like hope friday comes soon. I hate work, is it time to eat yet, I am tired and need to rest . We are constantly looking to satisfy our own desires.
Suffering brings about God’s desires and what he wants. After all we got in this mess because we where in control. The truth be told the bible is full of great suffering and calamity, one after another. Much like our world today. If you are going through life looking for one pleasure after another as a Christian particularly or a sinner. You are headed for disappointment . Life is not going to be this. Life in reality is not even close to that. It looks like disappointment and heartache, failures and defeat.
We live in a fallen world full of sin. Make no mistake it is broken. God sent his son to fix it. He has and will. The secret,which really is no secret at all . Is to follow Christ,trusting in him. Making disciples of others, leading them to Christ. Bandaging their wounds and carrying them to the cross. Fully realizing that we are in a fallen world.
In closing suffering brings us closer to the cross and causes us to desire the heart of God and his real intent for mankind. Here my friend is where you will find joy unspeakable . Trusting in a sovereign God.
Much love Tom