Wednesday, November 12, 2014

On Suffering

"So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." I Peter 5:10

In your life, tough times are inevitable. Whether they be in the classroom, the office or the home, suffering hits all of us at one time or another. Maybe the most disarming thing about tough times is that they seem to come unannounced. They seem to come and perch right on your arm without notice and without warning. But, once it’s there, what do you do? It depends on how it came and how you perceive the role of suffering.

If the suffering came as a result of your own actions, then you are to endure it as a logical consequence. It still doesn’t make it feel better, nor go down any easier, but nonetheless suffering of that sort is probably there to remind you in the future to not make the same decision. There’s quite a bit to learn from the suffering of this type. I can recall many times in the classroom where I’ve done something that has gone terribly – my subsequent suffering taught me what not to do. Never waste the value of non-examples, for they are the most abundant types.

If the suffering came seemingly without any cause, you can find comfort in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who once said – ‘unearned suffering is redemptive.’ There is a payday at the end of your suffering, which brings me to the establishing scripture at the top of this post.

Suffering builds character. Character helps support and strengthen you in the next season. This support can only come once suffering has it’s time – ‘after you have suffered a little while.’ Now, we can debate what God meant by ‘a little while,’ but suffice it to say that every suffering period has an expiration date. That’s good news.

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