Called to Suffer

>> Saturday, September 14, 2013

by Sarah Forbes

If God made "the Captain of our Salvation perfect through suffering" (Hebrews 2:10) and He wants to make us like Christ (Romans 8:29) why do we suppose that He would NOT choose to mature us through suffering?

Even Paul suffered and asked that his affliction be removed but God refused, instead telling him "My grace is sufficient for you" ( 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Why do I suppose God would do any different with me?

Too often I hear references to the end of this verse, but those references skip the beginning of the verse which states, the part that HOW we will be like Christ: that we will suffer. "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps." (1 Peter 2:21)

Called to Suffer.

That is a hard pill for me to swallow. It doesn't line up with our modern idea of God making my life better. But it is Bible. If I follow Christ, I will suffer. If not through persecution (we don't have much here in America yet) then God will use another kind of suffering to mature me in Christ. Perhaps an illness or financially difficulties. This is how I become more like Him. It is how I learn that I am utterly dependent on Him for my being (Acts 17:28).

After considering all this, I realized that I have been praying wrong. I was praying, like Paul, that God would take my illness away when the illness is evidence that God is working in me. Previously, I had seen it as keeping me from doing something for God. In reality it is what God is doing in me, what He is using to make me more like Him.
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