How to Remain Faithful When Suffering
By Rick Warren
“Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (1 Peter 4:19 NIV)
There are people out there who say God wants everybody to be a millionaire. God never wants anybody to have cancer. God never wants any problems in your life.
But the Bible says sometimes suffering is God’s will for your life. Why? Because it makes you more like Jesus. It deepens your faith. It brings you rewards in Heaven. It builds your character. It teaches you to worship instead of worry.
There are three kinds of suffering in the world. Common suffering is suffering that’s common to everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re Baptist or Buddhist or Muslim or atheist or whatever. Everybody suffers certain things. When a hurricane comes into town, it doesn’t just pick on Christians. There is suffering in the world that we all share in common.
The second kind of suffering is carnal suffering. That’s suffering you bring on yourself from
your own sin. If I go out and live a very loose immoral life and get a sexually transmitted disease, that’s my fault. It’s not God’s fault. It’s not anybody else’s fault. It’s my fault. If I spend more money than I make and now I’m in debt and going bankrupt, that’s not anyone’s fault but mine. That’s suffering because of my sin and bad decisions.
Not all suffering is from sin. The Bible says sometimes suffering is according to the will of God, because God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:19, “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (NIV).
No matter what arrows are thrown at you, no matter what you suffer in this life because of your faith, God wants you to remain faithful to him and keep on doing good to others. Is that easy to do? Not always. Does it take faith? Definitely. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Talk It Over
- How might doing good to others in the midst of your suffering help you change your focus?
- In what situations in your life do you need to stand up for Christ even in the face of opposition?
- What does it mean to commit yourself to God?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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