The Apostle Paul was beaten, stoned, hungry, thirsty, shipwrecked, imprisoned, on and on. Each of these trials had nothing to do with a lack of faith, or righteousness, or sin in his life.
In fact, look at both Old and New Testament believers. Take a second glance at today’s news and at the lives of missionaries around the globe. God never promised our paths would be easy, but He did promise everything would work for our good and for His glory. That includes our suffering. He will turn ashes to beauty.
1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
You might ask, What’s so great about suffering? I echo your question! Why does it take the trying of our faith to produce fruit?
Let’s go back to the drawing board or, should I say, the field. It doesn’t take a trained eye to look at freshly mowed lawns, trimmed bushes, and pruned vines to see the benefits. What was once old and dead, is now aesthetically pleasing, with glorious blooms and room for new growth.
We need to look at ourselves from Heaven’s perspective. Pruned and ready to bear more fruit! Like gold, we are placed in the fire, so we more closely resemble the image of God (1 Peter 1:7). And because of God’s grace and love, we don’t go through the pruning, the pain, or the problems alone. He promised to always be with us (Matt. 28:20).
And, at the finish line, we’ll receive a crown and a mansion! Best of all, we’ll meet Jesus – the greatest joy of all!
By Amre Cortadino
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