1 Peter 4 talks about suffering. There is a good suffering and a bad suffering according to Peter.
Bad suffering occurs when we do sin. If we “suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters,” then we’ve got bad suffering. We’re just getting our come-upins. We’re reaping what the flesh has sown. There is no virtue in suffering for being an idiot.
Good suffering is suffering brought on by doing good, especially in doing good for Christ. When we get this kind, we are taking part in the sufferings of Christ and seriously, how cool is that?!
So, there are two kinds of suffering:
1) Suffering brought on by not doing God’s will, which brings sinful results
2) Suffering brought on by doing God’s will, which inflames the world against you
Either way, whether by doing God’s will or resisting it, you’re going to suffer! This is the beauty of life on earth–aint no one exempt from the suffering. Rich guys, poor guys, powerful, weak, slave, free, men, women it just doesn’t matter, you will suffer.
So, God does not give you a suffer or don’t suffer option. There is no such thing as “Oh, just have more faith and all suffering will disappear.” Not a biblical concept. The Bible says no matter what, you will suffer.
Therefore, you might as well suffer for good. “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
God is good and He will set things right, if not now, then in the world to come. Bind yourself to Him, do His will, do well for He is a faithful Creator. He’s watching. He will take care of you, but through suffering is how we enter the glory later.
Don’t look for shortcuts around suffering, they don’t exist. Instead, resign yourself to suffering and choose to get the suffering that results from listening to God. You will win in the end!