First, let me be clear. Pain is not a good thing, and let’s not ever call evil good. I grow weary of trite cliches
like, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Really? Sometimes it just sucks the life out of you little by little until your worn down and have nothing left. How’s that for stronger? Or, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” Sure, if you have plenty of sugar and water around- and you actually like lemonade. Or, you could acknowledge reality- that this is really a lemon and it really tastes sour right now. Putting a happy face on a genuine hardship can really be insulting to those in the depths of hurt that we will inevitably experience.
But with that said, what amazes me about God is that He is big enough and gracious enough to bring good things- even the best things- out of pain and suffering. As I’ve been working through the book of 1 Peter, here are 10 that I’ve found- you can likely add plenty more.
Suffering well (for or because of Christ, with His strength and perspective):
- Allows us to share in Christ’s suffering- 1 Peter 4:13, Philippians 3:911
- Refines us – 1 Peter 4:12, Psalm 66:10
- Purifies us- 1 Peter 1:6-7
- Clarifies who we belong to – 1 Peter 4:17
- Grows our faith- 1 Peter 4:12
- Lets us experience God’s power- 1 Peter 4:14
- Bonds us/connects us with brothers & sisters in Christ 1 Peter 4:17
- Increases our future joy- 1 Peter 4:13
- Brings glory to God- 1 Peter 4:16
- Allows us to demonstrate Christ-like love and forgiveness 1 Peter 4:19