To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
1 Peter 2:21,22
What is the Point
“Oh, what’s the point? I give up!” Sometimes we just need to throw in the towel because we don’t have what it takes. That’s perfectly understandable if what you’re doing is voluntary, like trying to make 10 out of 10 three-pointers.
But it’s not quite so simple when you’re under an obligation, or you’ve made a promise. God doesn’t allow you to say, “My marriage is difficult; I quit.” Or to conclude, “Raising children involves too many sacrifices. I’ll just leave them on the roadside.” Often the most important things we do aren’t easy. They involve suffering.
We naturally don’t like to suffer, but suffering has an important point and purpose, a divine one. Peter says that suffering is a calling, an assignment that God regularly gives to you and me for a good reason.
What’s the reason? We can’t always know exactly. But we can be certain of this: God is disciplining, that is, he is training us.
True, it’s not fun. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful,” the Bible says. Yet the suffering to which God calls us is not pointless! And if we stick it out, the Bible promises that it, “produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
We might not like it, but God has his reasons. And those reasons result in overwhelming blessings for us and others.
Want proof? Consider Jesus’ suffering. Was it unjust? Absolutely. Peter reminds us that, “he committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” Unlike us, Jesus was a perfect 10 for 10 every time in everything he did. And yet he suffered.
Why? Was it pointless? Not for you and me, because Jesus’ suffering was for you and me. His perfect, painful suffering resulted in our perfect forgiveness. His death grants us eternal life as a gift.
You might not get the point of your suffering but hang in there. God gets it. And he will use it wisely for your good.
Jesus, help me to see and understand that my suffering has a point, and that through it you will bless me. Amen.
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