When you decided to stop living to the flesh and started to live to the Spirit by practicing righteousness to please God every day, things started happening to you that you may not understand (Rom. 8:13; 1 John 3:7; Matt. 5:16).  The Apostle Peter says not to be surprised at the fiery ordeal that comes upon you for your testing.  Do not think that some strange thing is happening to you.  Instead, remember that you share in the sufferings of Christ.  Keep on rejoicing so at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with great enthusiasm (1 Peter 4:12-13; Gal. 4:19).

Look what is happening to you! "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (1 Peter 5:10).  You are being made complete in Christ (2 Cor. 13:9, 11).  You are being made into a new creation (Gal. 6:15).

Yes, we need endurance so that when we have done the Will of God - which is practicing righteousness - we may receive what is promised – a brand new nature created in us by God Himself (Heb. 10:36).  We are told not to get weary in well-doing when we are practicing righteousness because that is how we allow God to form that new nature in us (Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13; Titus 3:8, 14; 2:7).

Now you can begin to see why the Scripture tells us to consider how to stimulate, provoke or encourage one another to more love and more good deeds or works (Heb. 10:24).   Doing good works is how you put on Christ (Rom. 13:14).  It is how you abide in Christ (John 15:5).  It is how you imitate Christ and the Father (1 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1).  Doing good works is how you put your old nature to death (Rev. 2:26).   Doing good works for God’s glory is the way to crush your old, Satanic nature under your heel (Rom. 16:20).

Yes, we must suffer to enter the kingdom within, but it is only momentary light affliction (Phil. 1:29; Rom. 8:17; Luke 17:21, KJV; Acts 14:22; 2 Cor. 4:17).  By doing the Will of the Father daily, we come out of the captivity of Satan and put his will to death in our bodies (1 John 2:17; Heb. 10:36; Matt. 7:21; 2 Tim. 2:26).

So let's understand suffering and know that God is working with us, making us perfect by perfecting Jesus Christ ‘s nature within us (Heb. 12:1-15, 23; Matt. 5:48; Gal. 4:19; 1 John 2:6).

To listen to this article, click here to take you to the voice-over edition.