Enduring With Patience
What does suffering have to do with living God's holy Way of life? Isn't life a bed of roses once a person puts his hand to the plow and decides to practice God's Will in his daily life? But wait! What about the Scripture that says anyone desiring to live in a godly way will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12)?
We know those who do wrong suffer (2 Peter 2:13). But is there suffering for those who are doing what is right (1 Peter 2:20-21; 3:17)? First Peter 3:17 says, "It is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong." Yes, God allows us to go through suffering for a very distinct purpose.
God has opened our eyes to repentance by good works (Acts 26:20, New International Version). He has shown us how to live each day, letting our lights shine for Him (Matt. 5:16). We're going through the growth process. We are learning every day how to be more like our Father who created us to do good works (Eph. 2:10; 5:10).
As we learn, we go through tests and trials. Through these tests and trials, we learn all of God's Ways. The nature that we were all born with needs to die. Our hearts are desperately sick, beyond all understanding (Jer. 17:9). We see that clearly as we go through tests, just as the Apostle Paul did (Rom. 7:18).
When we learn to patiently endure suffering, our evil nature will die. God will form Christ's nature in us (Gal. 4:19). Tests and trials will decrease, and when they do come, we will know to be positive and endure, to study the Bible for encouragement and wisdom, and to pray to God and trust in Him to help us through our tests (1 Peter 5:7). We are trained through these tests and this training yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11). Suffering makes us grow. It is not something to grumble about, for it is what actually kills the evil inside our bodies (1 Peter 4:1-2, 12-16; Rom. 16:19-20).
This is why true disciples of Jesus Christ persevered in doing good works for God. They were seeking for glory and honor and immortality (Rom. 2:7). How many who profess Jesus as their Savior are doing that today?
We must overcome the evil pulls of our flesh by keeping Jesus Christ's works, which He came to show us, and we must endure to the end, keeping these works (Rev. 2:26). By doing so, we will be fit to rule with Jesus Christ and teach the nations of this world the true way to peace-Jesus Christ's Ways (Is. 2:3).