Living Apostolic in San Antonio

The Official Blog of Alamo City Apostolic Church

Perfection through Pain

Suffering…the very word evokes negative mental images.

How strange that certain types of suffering should be so highly prized in the eyes of God!

The Scripture makes an amazing statement regarding the apostles after they were persecuted, imprisoned and beaten. “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41).

The apostles did not rejoice because they had suffered. No…they rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer!

Not all suffering is honorable. The Bible clearly states that “…let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” But it also goes on to say, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (I Peter 4:15-16).

Sometimes it appears that some of God’s children suffer more than others. Perhaps this is because some have proven themselves more worthy in the sight of God! God knows great spiritual gains may be achieved through suffering…but not everyone has developed a close and sincere enough walk with God to survive the process. Therefore, they are not “counted worthy to suffer.”

You see, God’s greatness does not shine through in our lives with nearly as much intensity when all is well as it does when life is at its worst. Paul cried out repeatedly to God in the midst of his pain…until the quiet voice of God finally came through the darkness to his soul: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9).

Immediately, Paul’s outlook changed as he understood that his pain was God’s potential. “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Corinthians 12:9).

It’s in suffering that we have shared, relationship-building experiences with Jesus Christ. Paul refers to coming to know Him in the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). Suffering with Him also precedes being glorified with Him (Romans 8:17).

If you are a faithful child of God and you are hurting, take courage. He is with you. The hand of the Potter is guiding the crushing of the clay…a crushing that precedes fashioning and perfecting. Your reward is great.

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (I Peter 5:10).


January 8, 2010 - Posted by | Reflections | , , , ,

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