By Steve Horn
I learned a long time of ago that I never lack for an audience when I preach on the subject of suffering. And yet, a question that every Christian must wrestle with is how to reconcile a loving God to the presence of suffering. Ravi Zacharias has said that it is the greatest obstacle to belief in God.
Yesterday, I preached on the subject of suffering, and I did not lack for an audience. My sermon was based on selected texts in 1 Peter that deal with the subject. Now, in 1 Peter, the context is a suffering attached to persecution, but I think the principles apply to any kind of suffering. I encourage you to get your Bibles and read these texts. I think you will discover at least these eiight reasons that we can embrace our suffering.
- Suffering connects us to Jesus. (3:18)
- Suffering changes or sanctifies us. (4:1-2, 12)
- Suffering creates in us a yearning for Heaven. (4:13)
- Suffering causes us to see the blessing of the grace and glory of God resting on us. (4:14)
- Suffering creates the opportunity to glorify God in our suffering. (4:16)
- Suffering causes us to trust God. (4:19)
- Suffering causes us to be more sensitive to the suffering of others. (5:9)
- Suffering causes us to see that God is strengthening us. (5:10)
Steve Horn is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lafayette. This editorial first appeared on his blog.