Summary: Coping is made esier with the right perspective.
SUFFERING OF THE PRESENT
By Chuck Hendrix
A farmer was driving his pickup with his dog in the seat next to him and a horse trailer in tow behind him. On a dangerous curve, the farmer was forced off the road by a large truck. A highway patrolman happened upon the accident and quickly assessed the damages. When he saw that the dog and horse were suffering, the patrolman pulled out his revolver and put them out of their misery. He then walked over to the farmer and asked, "How are you doing?" The farmer looked at the smoking pistol and then quickly replied, "I’ve never felt better!"
THOUGH A LOT OF US PRETEND WE’VE NEVER BEEN BETTER. THE TRUTH IS WE DO HAVE TRIAL. WE DO EXPERIENCE SUFFERING. BUT WHY DO WE EXPEREINCE SUFFERING? HOW ARE WE TO RESPOND TO IT?
1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 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. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
GREATLY REJOICE BECAUSE YOU SUFFER GRIEF IN ALL KINDS OF TRIALS.
This sounds crazy to us. But it also should remind us of what James said, JAS 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Matthew puts it this way, MT 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
RO 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
It sounds crazy to us because we view trials and persecutions from our own perspective instead of Gods.
There is a reason for trials. And once you I truly understand and appreciate the reasons for these trials of life, we can rejoice. Because we know the out come of such trials.
2 REASONS TO REJOICE WHEN WE SUFFER GREIEF IN ALL KINDS OF TRIALS.
1) So that your faith may be proved genuine (same as examine yourself)
What happens when suffering comes and your faith is not genuine?
You will turn to other places to find relief.
You will quit church.
2) So that it may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
How is Jesus going to be revealed? Jesus Christ is reveled when we realize and tell others he’s the one that helps us with our suffering.
Paul Krause was recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He played 16 years and had 81 career interceptions as a safety with the Minnesota Vikings. However, his greatest challenge in life did not occur on a football field but in his response to the automobile accident his wife of 35 years suffered on October 5, 1995. Pam Krause was in a coma for 5 years after suffering a brain-stem injury, several broken bones on the left side of her body including facial bones, ribs, pelvis and vertebrae. Former Vikings teammate, Wally Hilgenburg recently said, "I have gained so much more respect and admiration for Paul over the past 2 years for what Paul has done as a husband, father and provider for Pam. He has proven himself a true Hall of Famer based on how he has handled everything. Krause credits his strength from his faith in God. "When the doctors tell you that they do not know if she will live...that is not giving you any hope. But, I never thought she would die. That is my belief in God, hoping that he would give me strength through all of it."