Ever had something thrown at you and you didn’t quite know what to do with it? Well, according to the Bible, we get things thrown at us all the time.
In this I rejoice, even though now for a little while, it is necessary to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (I Peter 1:6).
It is necessary to suffer grief in all kinds of trials? Ouch! That is not something we like to hear, is it? But it is the WORD of GOD. This is one of those places where we know GOD’s thoughts and ways are not ours (Isaiah 55:8-11) But, like the Word says, I have found HIS ways work and achieve all that HE wants accomplished.
It helps me to remember, that GOD the FATHER prepared JESUS, through HIS sufferings, to lead us to glory. “For it was fitting for HIM, for whom are all things, in bringing (leading) many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation (JESUS) through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10 NASB). HE suffered first to prepare HIM. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us that when we suffer, it prepares us.
GOD has a plan and had determined that those who love HIM, those who are the called according to HIS purpose, will be transformed (the word in the Greek is metamorphosed. You know like from a caterpillar to a butterfly) into the image of the SON HE loves (Romans 8:29). This takes place through our struggles (see 2 Corinthians 4:15-18, James 1:2-4) and seeing more of JESUS (2 Corinthians 3:18).
JESUS is our good Shepherd. HE wants what is best for us, and sometimes shearing off the wool hurts but it is for our good. Remember, HE works all things together for an end result of good to those who love HIM and are the called according to HIS purpose (Romans 8:28).
As our Shepherd, JESUS leads the way (John 10:3-4). When a shepherd leads, he goes ahead of the sheep. If he passes a rock, they pass the rock; if HE climbs a hill, they climb the hill; if he goes through grass, they go through grass as they follow him.
We are told to have the same attitude as JESUS, who thought of others before HIMSELF, who gave up all HIS rights, didn’t even speak HIS own mind, but humbled HIMSELF, and spoke only what FATHER GOD told HIM to say. Though HE cried out in terror in the garden, and sweat blood at the thought of it, JESUS was obedient to death, suffering on the cross for our sins while despising the shame. HE endured by thinking of us. (see Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 12:2). We are told to fix our eyes on JESUS, so we will know how to act (Hebrews 12:2-3).
For instance, JESUS suffered temptation in every way known to mankind. “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but ONE (JESUS the Son of GOD) who has been tempted (tested) in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
As a young woman with a difficult monthly cycle, there was a day when I was in great pain and I spoke with GOD saying, “But, LORD, YOU don’t know what I am going through right now.” Immediately, the woman with the issue of blood came to mind, and I remembered that JESUS felt power leave HIM to heal her (Luke 8:43-46). As understanding dawned, I was amazed. When JESUS healed others, power left HIS body. HE felt what they felt. HE know what I feel.
We know that it was the devil that threw a lot of the tests and struggles at JESUS. The first time we are told about this, the HOLY SPIRIT led JESUS to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). JESUS came out the victor.
In Job, it was GOD who pointed out Job to the devil. It was GOD who allowed the devil to test Job mercilessly, but set limits (Job 1:8-12, 2:2-6). Job came out of those troubles stronger, wiser. At that time Job said, “Before my ears had heard of YOU, but now my eyes have seen YOU” (Job 42:5). Then GOD asked Job to pray for his friends who had wrongfully accused him. When Job obeyed, the LORD gave him twice as much as was taken from him, and caused him to have favor in the eyes of his brethren and acquaintances (Job 42:10).
It was GOD who allowed the devil to sift as wheat the arrogant and brash apostle Peter. Peter came out of that testing, humble and prepared for the work GOD had for him to do. And as the LORD JESUS prayed for Peter, so HE also lives to intercede for us during our struggles (Luke 22:31-32, Hebrews 7:25).
The scripture that says, “deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13) must apply to the devil as well of men. Although it’s happened over and over throughout history, the devil must not see that the ALMIGHTY GOD, the LORD of hosts, uses him as an instrument to discipline and perfect HIS children (Hebrews 12:5-11).
Hidden in Lamentations is an explanation: “Though HE brings grief, yet will HE show compassion. For GOD does not want to bring affliction or grieve the sons of men to crush them, (but HE does out of necessity) ( Lamentations 3:32-34a).
I don’t know all the whys and wherefores, but do know that every problem, every tear is achieving for us an eternal weight in glory that far surpasses the pain of today. So we need to do as GOD says and stop looking at our situation and refocus on what GOD is achieving for us through the situation (2 Corinthians 4:15-18).
1 Peter 1:6 says, These struggles are necessary. Where it was said, JESUS must needs go through Sam aria, didn’t mean there wasn’t an alternate route. But that HE had to go there to meet the need of a sinner. HIS witness to her led to a large revival.
When I had my heart attack four years ago, it opened the door for me to witness to several strangers. I needed to be in the hospital, at that time, to come in contact with them so I could fulfill HIS purpose for me in their lives.
That verse also points out our struggles are only for limited time period. They will cease.
So now for a little while it is necessary to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
But, what is the in this we are to be rejoicing all about? Go to I Peter 1:1-5 and list things to rejoice in. Perhaps beginning in verses 1-2 where we are told that we are chosen by GOD. Imagine that, we- just tiny specks in the universe- have been chosen by the eternal great I AM, who created heaven and earth with just a word.
1 Peter 1:7 these trials that we are suffering have come so that our faith might prove to be genuine… though we are tested with fire (and it sure seems like fire at times, doesn’t it?). These trials will ultimately have an end result of good for us, since they will result in praise, glory and honor when our blessed Savior JESUS is revealed.
So look up, for our redemption draws nigh.
Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith,