Daily Word #9: The Protective Purpose Of Pain Part 4 - Suffering's Blessing
Why does God allow such pain in our lives? Can something good come out of that pain?
A butterfly struggles mightily to get out of its cocoon. By the time it gets out, it’s exhausted, but this struggle to get out has strengthened the butterfly’s wings enough so that it can fly. If someone had freed the butterfly, then the butterfly would not have been able to fly, and most likely, it would have been eaten by a predator, so with this in mind, “even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed” (1 Pet 3:14), because “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10), and in fact, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matt 5:11). So what should our response be to this kind of treatment? Should we call a lawyer, call the ACLU, or try to retaliate? You already know, don’t you? “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:12), so “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28).
What is right is not always popular, and what is popular, is not always right, so if you stand firm on your faith in Christ, you will receive persecution and you will suffer for it. The surprising thing would be if you were never persecuted. Something’s very wrong if you’ve never suffered for your faith. And what would even be worse is, “when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Paul says if you are a child of God, then you are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17).
We can take a little more suffering if We know it’s going to glorify Him, and that we’ll rejoice all the more at His appearing if we’ve suffered more for Him.
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