Suffering, Sin and Doing Good

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!

One thought on “Suffering, Sin and Doing Good”

  1. I think this thought about suffering is one of the keys to understanding the seven sealed book of Revelation.

    A few hundred years ago, Edward Irving, in a commentary on Revelation, identified the sealed book as a book of the inheritance of the earth. He came to this interpretation by comparing with Jeremiah 32:6-15 wherein Jeremiah is instructed to redeem the field of his uncle, and the transaction is accompanied by witnesses, and a deed, part of which is sealed and part of which is open. I won’t give all the reasoning here, but the spiritual connection is simply that the earth itself needs to be redeemed as the new home of the saints, and this process of redeeming it takes place during the opening of the seals.

    It is of course the Lamb who died who has the right to open the seals, and so He is the one who has redeemed us and will redeem the earth. But He does this through a series of actions involving His church. He prepares them to receive the inheritance, for the “meek shall inherit the earth,” but we can only be those by first being made meek.

    But what you find under the seals is that the church descends into more and more suffering. First it is a white horse, triumphing. Then it is a red horse, being persecuted to blood. Then it is a grey horse, losing it’s life. Finally it is a black horse, with death as the rider…a completely apostate church. Then the next seal brings to view the martyrs whose blood cries from under the altar of sacrifice, suffering under the hands of this apostate church.

    But all these events are forming a character in the faithful which qualifies them to inherit the earth. It is much suffering that is revealed here, and so suffering is not only something to be endured, but is actually the very means God uses to bring us into the inheritance.

    “…we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

    It is not that suffering has virtue, as the Catholics have it, but rather it is the character through grace which God manifests in His people under these trials, which reveals their fitness to be the new rulers of that redeemed earth.

    If we can get a glimpse of this, I think it would make suffering and tribulation something that we can not only endure, but actually rejoice under (not necessarily rejoicing in the flesh, but rejoicing in the spirit).

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