Christians ought to expect suffering. Yes, you heard that one right. In our litigious age of claiming rights and avoiding pain at all cost, the biblical teaching can seem like some antiquated throw-back to an age we can’t relate to very well. But Peter’s letter to the churches was all about facing and dealing with suffering. Unfair treatment was happening, and was going to happen. Peter would think it weird if believers were not undergoing suffering of some type.
But it is not random meaningless suffering. It is a testing of faith. “Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth more than gold.” Because faith is much like a muscle, it needs to be flexed, used, and exercised so that it develops and grows strong. An absence of adversity will only lead to faith-muscle atrophy. So, how do we endure such adverse situations of suffering?
Christians deal in the currency of hope. God has “given us new life and a hope that lives on. God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear.” The path forward through suffering is to know that we are being trained and developed for eternal life with Jesus. We learn to put our hope in things which are permanent, instead of putting too much investment and stock into the temporary. Our strengthened faith will not decay, will never be ruined, and shall not disappear. It only makes solid spiritual sense to develop a robust life of faith in this life, since eternity awaits us.
I praise you God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are so good by raising Jesus from death and giving us a permanent inheritance which can never perish, spoil, or fade. I entrust myself to you and seek spiritual growth by means of the trials you bring into my life. May they be used for your glory. Amen.