The Purpose of Suffering

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 peter 3:10

Restore

The body of Jesus Christ was dead, laid in the grave, sealed with a stone, rotted for a day, and then he was restored to become the first of the new creation.

Confirm

Jesus Christ was accused, rejected, betrayed, and murdered. All that he said about himself and all the promised words of the Father appeared to be in questions until they were confirmed by the power of the resurrection.

Strengthen

Jesus Christ assumed a position of total dependence and humility with the Father. The fullness of his power was demonstrated by submission to being executed for crimes he did not commit. In the resurrection, his power was completely manifested over the curse, over death, and over every power in heaven and earth.

Establish

The finished work of Christ in his suffering on the cross and defeating death in the resurrection established a kingdom of light that will never pass away.

 

Suffering was the means by which Jesus became Lord and King. Now, as his sons and daughters, we participate in his suffering. The God of all grace has called us to his eternal glory in Christ, and so that these same qualities will be brought to expression in our lives, we are calling into suffering. His love for us and his purposes for us in his kingdom must include suffering.

Can you be restored without suffering?

Can you be confirmed without suffering?

Can you be strengthened without suffering?

Can you be established without suffering?

There is no short cut through Jesus words, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

 

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  1. #1 by Liz Meiners on August 16, 2012 - 4:52 am

    Thanks for this, Kirk. I must say this passage has come to mean so much to me. I appreciate your thoughts on it. My Mom read it the morning of my Dad’s massive heart attack, not realizing at the time, how much she would turn to it during that time of suffering. In God’s kindness, he lived 25 more years.

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