Did you know that in the process of bodybuilding, the person doing the exercise is breaking apart the little fibres in their muscles, so that their body is able to rebuild it again in a much stronger way. Through this process the person must suffer under the weight of the equipment and work hard to achieve the goal that they are working towards.
In the same way, we as Christians, will at times, suffer through times of hardship and pain. However, It is then through times when we are challenged, that our spiritual muscles are able to grow stronger as we become more dependent on God. It states in verse 3 that “knowing that our suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”. This suffering allows us to become spiritually stronger and allows to fight the good fight of faith.
Not only that, but today’s reading actually says we must “rejoice in our sufferings (V.3)” or to paraphrase, show delight in our times of suffering. Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m facing a time where I am suffering or being challenged the last thing I want to do is break out and celebrate. But when we suffer, we have a hope or confident expectation that one day that we will join Christ, in a place with no suffering.
It is through the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, that we are able to receive the gift of peace in our lives. This peace that comes from the assurance of salvation in Him and also in knowing that something greater is still yet to come. Though there are times when life will become difficult, we can be sure that we have not yet achieved the pinnacle of greatness that is still yet to come.
Therefore, we must not allow ourselves to get down in the dumps when things get hard, but instead rejoice, remain calm and enjoy the peace that comes from the promise that we have in Jesus Christ.
How do you seek God in your times of suffering?