"But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." 1 Peter 5:10(NKJV) I have always loved this verse of scripture, with the exception of one statement: "...after you have suffered a while..." Peter gives such a wonderful blessing here, but he also makes sure we realize that we WILL suffer through some things. Jesus Himself even made this clear in John 16:33 (NKJV) where He states, "...In the world you will have tribulation..." Our suffering can come in many forms, but it is necessary in order for us to build faith, patience, and character. Our suffering may come in the form of financial distress, emotional upheaval, physical infirmities, and at times it is in the form of chastening from God. But even God's chastening has its place, as we read in Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV), "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." We, as Christians, must remember that our final destination, heaven, is the ultimate goal, and that the suffering we endure in this life will be rewarded in heaven, if not here. God's promises to us do not go unfulfilled, even if it may seem that way right now in your life. Our purpose then should be to fight the good fight, endure the suffering God needs us to endure, and continue to praise Him even in the midst of our trials. Paul is the best example of this, as most of His contributions to the New Testament were written while he was chained in prison! If you are in the midst of a trial and suffering right now, remember that "this, too, shall pass." God sees your pain and He hears your prayers, so stand in faith, knowing that we serve a faithful God who will never overload us. Remember the words of 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV), "...but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." We will all suffer, we will all be tried, but it is how we act in the middle of the trial that will determine our deliverance. God will never give us a failing grade on a test...He'll simply have us take the test again and again until we get it right. It is so important that we give God praise in the midst of suffering, and trust Him to know what is best in our lives. Praising God when we're on the mountaintop is easy, but when we praise Him in the valley, He will reward us with blessings beyond our belief!
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