For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Have any of us had a perfect day? A day where nothing at all troubled us? A day where we neither experienced nor witnessed suffering of any kind? Then surely, we're avoiding all the news, feeling the rush of newlywed love or inhabiting a fantasy life.
Because while Satan still governs the earth and our downfall is his primary goal, because the devil still answers to God and our rising is His primary goal, suffering is a tool both of them use:
The former to throw us into a pit, where we surrender to him in despair--and give up our hope in God's perfect plan. The Latter to refine us as with fire, where we surrender to His will in faith--and cling to our hope that God's plan is good. Because it is and we'll end UP shining.
But since we're told not to be ignorant of Satan's schemes, let's look at suffering: some different ways it hit God's heroes, how they handled it and their conclusions. Because pain is packaged in many forms:
Like war, guilt, failure, prison, hunger, abuse, bad dads, burnout, disease, infirmity, overwork, mockery, nakedness, betrayal, disregard, depression, dirty jobs, demotion, rejection, sacrifice, loneliness, homeliness, homelessness, poverty, bereavement, childlessness, injustice, temptation, unemployment, adultery, deficiency, persecution, self-denial, childhood trauma, dangerous times, dream-hating kin, jumping the gun, mental illness, hard assignments, physical pain, bitter regret, a bad background, forgetfulness, devastation, cascading loss, untimely death and crucifixion.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Study God's Words about suffering--both for your own edification and to learn how you can help others. Making hay while the sun shines is good. Mourning with those who mourn is better. Thanking God when you suffer is great.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.