Knowing God s Will 4: Joyful Path of Suffering

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1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. NIV11

Sometimes suffering is a good thing. In life, there are times when the course that we want to follow is different than the path that God desires for us. That makes it difficult to follow God. When our wills diverge, our path seems to us to be the easier way, whereas what God wants seems to be the more difficult. Our path appears to be the one that will bring happiness; and his the one that leads to suffering. But of course, God s path is the better path and will actually end in in true joy. If we view our will as the path of comfort and his as the path of suffering, then suffering (in this sense) is actually a good thing.

Imagine someone asked you to pray, God I will do whatever you want. I completely yield myself to you. Would that be easy to do? Or would you be afraid that God would lead you to be a missionary in a remote tribal village where you would have to eat bugs and coexist with spiders the size of manhole covers? Many times, our fear of suffering makes us afraid to follow God. We fear where God wants to take us, because we fear suffering.

When we accept that God s path will often involve suffering, it frees us to choose his way and to live for the will of God. In the end, we can trust that His will doesn t end in suffering, but eventually leads to true joy.

 


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