In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I Peter 1:6-7
You may wonder why a good God would allow His children to suffer.
The Scriptures are full of stories of men and women who suffered for their faith. Jesus said, Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:11) Peter was addressing the impact salvation had on one’s life and how often it produced suffering and persecution. Clearly suffering will test our faith, but the Lord will use the suffering to produce character in us. (James 1:2-40) As children of God, He wants our suffering to produce a harvest of righteousness.
You may be thinking, “Is there an easier way?” In my life, it has been mostly through hard times that I have grown closer to the Lord. During these times, He has strengthened my faith and increased my ability to help others.
In the western world, we do not see persecution for our faith as openly as Christians do in other countries. However, it is present, though more subtle, when we take a stand on issues that run counter to Biblical teachings. As the tide seems to be shifting against Christian views, we see the importance of gaining a Biblical perspective to stand against the tide. What is your greatest obstacle in sharing your faith?
It is so hard to take a stand for You in this world. My faith is tested each day as I try to live a Christian life. Why is it so difficult? Am I fearful of being persecuted for my faith?
Strengthen me in Your Word and give me the courage and perseverance to stand against the assaults on my faith.
In Jesus’ name, Amen