Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5.10
Suffering. Nobody likes it. No one wants to suffer. Sometimes when a person becomes a Christian, they think that their suffering is over. Life is going to become a bed of rose petals. Yet the Bible teaches differently. Mathew 5.11 teaches that a person is happy or blessed when they are persecuted for righteousness. Persecution is suffering. God allowed Satan to take everything from Job: his family, his wealth, and his health. That is suffering. In Acts 5.17-41 we read where the apostles are put in prison and eventually beaten. But they left the council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of Jesus. James tells us in James 1. 2-4 that the testing of our faith (suffering) produces endurance and endurance helps us to mature and be perfect or complete in our faith, not lacking in anything. Whenever we are suffering, our attitude should be one of joy. We should search for the lesson that we are to learn and grow from the situation. Did you notice what happens after you suffer for a little while? God will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. That is cause for rising joy!