1 Peter 3:17-18
It’s All Worth It…
We may go through our share of suffering, but it will all be worth it in the end:
“For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit.” -1 Peter 3:17-18, NAB
Suffering is not a topic that I shy away from. I have written about it many times in these daily verses, and partly because both Sts. Peter and Paul thought that it was important enough to write about time and time again. If two of the greatest men in the history of the Church found it important, shouldn’t we?
We will endure suffering; there is no doubt about it. No matter how much we try to avoid it; it will come. Peter knows this as well as anyone. Not only did he suffer, but he saw the suffering that Christ Himself went through. He saw the ultimate good endure the ultimate suffering. So, we can make our own choice. Do we suffer while doing good, as He did, or do we suffer for our evils? The choice is up to us.
This verse makes a very important point that I do not want to miss out on. Christ’s suffering put Him to death, but only so that He could be resurrected in the Spirit. We have this same hope for our lives. When we endure suffering, we must put this world behind us and focus on allowing it to purify us. With God’s grace, our suffering will lead us to Him, and we can claim our place with Him in heaven. We may suffer here for a time, but we have hope for an eternity spent with the Lord. It makes it all worth while.
Some may be upset that all of their suffering only leads to happiness in heaven, but what about here on earth? I can tell you, without a doubt in my mind, that we do not always have to wait to get to heaven to receive God’s blessing. He can and does reward us for our faith, from time to time. We will go through our share of suffering, but we will receive many graces for that suffering as well. Sometimes, the graces are not what we expected, or even knew we wanted, but they are graces nonetheless.
If you doubt that suffering can lead you to happiness, I can tell you from experience that it does. For years, I have suffered for the poor choices that I have made. Mistakes have caused me more trouble than the intention was originally worth. Finally, after years of enduring hard times, my life is falling into place. There have still been challenges, and they are not all self-inflicted anymore. Despite the source of my challenges, I endure them anyway. Now, I can tell you that I am receiving more abundant blessings than I ever have, and I believe it is for my endurance through my struggles.
If you are facing hardship right now, hold fast to faith. The Lord is there with you, and He will see you through. Blessings are coming your way – if you are patient enough to wait for them.