It’s not much fun talking about suffering, but let’s be honest . . . suffering’s a big part of our lives.

In some Christian circles, people are discouraged from acknowledging pain or suffering. I guess there’s this idea that suffering somehow invalidates the Cross’s power, so people feel pressured to always act like everything is just peachy. 

Here’s the thing though—this outlook is neither biblical or helpful. In fact, Scripture dignifies suffering and tells us to find joy in it because suffering’s a vital part of discovering our new life in Christ.

It’s important, however, to remember that God is not the One inflicting the suffering (see James 1:12–18). But He will use the brokenness and imperfections of our world to do a perfect work in us. What the enemy of our soul means to tear us down, God uses to reveal our True Life in Him.

I love what Peter writes in the fifth chapter of his first letter,

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. (v. 10 ESV)

First of all, I want to point out that Peter writes “suffered a little while.” In other words, as a child of God, your suffering has an end date. Your pain will expire. It may be hard to believe at times, but your deliverance is running toward you, getting closer with every sunrise. And as you journey through the fire of suffering, the God of all grace has promised that His grace is sufficient for you. When you lean into His grace, He promises to overwhelm your weakness with His power.

Amazing, right?!

If you take another glance at 1 Peter 5:10, you’ll notice there are four promises that offer perspective in the fire. Perspective that can and will redefine your suffering:

  • RESTORE – The promise that nothing will be lost in the pain. Anything the enemy “steals” will be returned with interest. It may feel like something is out of reach, but nothing is beyond God. Notice that Peter writes “God himself will . . .” In other words, God will take it upon Himself to do the impossible by restoring what seems beyond restoration.
  • CONFIRM – The promise that you will be validated. The suffering will only confirm that you are a child of God and reveal your True Self in Him. What the enemy uses to put a question mark on your life, God turns into an exclamation point. Truth will always have the last say, so when you feel like your identity and purpose have been undermined, stand on the promise that what God says about you will be the final word.
  • STRENGTHEN – The promise that the suffering will not kill you—it will only make you stronger and position you for the challenges ahead. You, my friend, are called to go from glory to glory and strength to strength, and the fire is a pathway of growth. God uses our temporal struggles to wield eternal strength and fortitude in us.
  • ESTABLISH – The promise that the hardship will position you for ruler ship. It reveals your royal new nature in Christ. When Paul writes that we are seated in heavenly places, he is alluding to an eternal ruler ship that invades the present and reshapes our lives here and now. As sons and daughters, God is preparing us for eternal glory and stewardship.

Everything in life is about perspective—that’s why an awareness of these four promises is so crucial. In my own trials and pain, I’ve found that deliverance doesn’t necessarily come from a change in my surroundings (although that’s what I tend to pray for), it comes from a change in perspective.

God promises us a peace that transcends the evidence at hand (see Philippians 4). This peace doesn’t come from quick fixes and easy answers; it comes from being in sync with the One who has all the answers. It flows from a confidence in God’s promises and the assurance that the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion.

When you go through the fire, I challenge you to welcome the peace that comes with an awareness of these four promises. As you do, you’ll have eyes to see God’s faithfulness in the midst of the pain.

Please take a minute to encourage our other readers by leaving a comment on how you’ve seen these four promises animated in your suffering. Also, we’d love to pray for you . . . how can we stand with you as you’re navigating the pain of the process?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4 ESV)

22 Comments

  1. So good- very thankful for the wisdom in this post! If you’d like to pray for our family right now- we’re kind of hit from all directions and we would love peace, clarity, and healing for some things beyond our control. Again, I’m so thankful for this ministry making the truth of God known. I appreciate y’all.

  2. I have been suffering from an auditory processing disorder called “Misophonia” since I was 7 years old, almost 20 years now. I know God can heal me, and I have hope and faith that He will, but I am honestly tired of the seemingly endless suffering. I would appreciate any and all prayers! Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Hey Kam, I just want you to know that their is healing in Jesus Christ. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The word of God say that by his wounds we are healed. In looking at alot of the instances in the Bible where Jesus healed, one thing that was common is that he would speak of the persons Faith. Truly believing that you are healed, and thanking God for your healing before its even done. Seeing your self in a healed state before its done. I believe that healing is for everyone. So I stand and thank God in advance for your total healing as well as mine.
      Much Love
      Nellie

  3. Pamela Shaw

    Thank you for this. I’ve just listened to it now and it was at just the right time. I would appreciate some prayer. My marriage is floundering. My husband struggles with depression but won’t get help, believes this is ‘just the way he is’. He has no concept of joy, no purpose in living, most of the time everything is pointless. One day everything is great, and I’m wonderful, the next he’s ready to leave and it’s all my fault 🙁 Things are starting to come to a head which is good but scarey. I just need to stand strong and do what is right. Thank you.

    • Arden Bevere

      Hello Pamela, our team is going to be praying for your marriage and your husband. Believing that the supernatural joy of the Lord would fill his life!

  4. Amy Loafman

    My husband and I love listening to all podcasts produced by messenger after our two year-old falls asleep. Let me tell you they have blessed us and equipped us for ministry at our local church here in Plainview, TX and helped us grown in our walk with Jesus! God’s Spirit led me to this posting tonight as I just had so much heaviness on my heart for the past week. My parents and familie’s hearts are far from Christ and have left some scars that Christ had to mend and walk me through a journey of healing over the past three years. I love them. I have grieved for them. I know God has changed me so much even though I have seen no change. I so desire freedom in Christ for them beyond even having a relationship with me. I need to hope again to be encouraged that He can restore and establish me even if things don’t change. Pray for me. Thank you! Amy Loafman

  5. This is very comforting to hear. My partner and I have been struggling for what seems like an age, Spiritually and financially. Spiritually we are at different ends. Where I feel like I want to lay it all at the Lords feet my partner feels that it isn’t worth his time and would take away from his responsibilities to the family. I honestly don’t know what goes on in his head sometimes and I’m ok with that. I have and will continue to pray about these things, I know God has His hand over our family. I trust Him.
    Brooke

    • Arden Bevere

      Hey Brooke, our team will be praying for you guys! Also praying that God will reveal new things to you that will open up the door in both of those areas.

  6. Thank you so much for being a instrument of God for me in these time please pray for me and God will give me the strength to be able to win and gain the victory in his name

  7. Monique Waggener

    Great messsage and I agree with it all. !!! So many times during our time of testing we feel likeGod is mad at us but it’s good to have a eeminder that he loves us and teaching us so we can be better And yes you are a better leader when can relate to what another person is going through and help them through. That’s why I love your parents teachings becouse they don’t come from a pastoral position but from a student position if you know what I mean
    Love these studies they are great I’m gonna try to read it over again and meditate on it and definitely share it!!!

  8. After listening to you and reading the verses you said. I cried because I needed to hear this. I’m in need of a good home for my daughter and I after I was abandoned by my roommate. I applied for new place. Now I need the funds to move in. God will restore what that was lost. He gets the glory. I’ve learned a lesson.

    Please lift me up its urgent!

    Amen.

    Love your account and your mom 😉

    • Addison Bevere

      I’m praying for a miracle, Patricia. Your daughter is blessed to have such an amazing mom. Your strength and resolve are revealing God’s heart for her.

  9. This is so awesome and made me so excited. I am going through a tough season myself where I feel I’ve lost a lot of hope and a lot of faith. I just kept asking how can God heal me? I’ve been dealing with fear and anxiety of sickness for about 4 years since my mom went through her stroke. But looking back I definitely have seen God work and bring healing and peace in me, so that has given me a little more hope and a little more faith each day. I am trusting God as best as I can, I would love some prayer right now. Thank you this post is on point.

    • Addison Bevere

      I’ll be praying for you, Ariana. Hold onto that hope, knowing that God is healing you and making you whole. He loves you so much and is intimate in your pain.

  10. Thank you for this post! Not one of us is exempt from suffering, so remembering God is always at work in the middle of the storm is of great encouragement. Definitely loving the strengthening God is doing in my heart as I face my own set of health stuff. I don’t consider myself a patient person, so getting the chance to be patient in affliction (Romans 12) by the Spirit’s power is quite the adventure! Blessings to all of you. Keep this going. -Sandra

  11. This is amazing. Thank you

  12. Going through a season of rejection and fear that I’m not really loved or accepted. Listening to lies spread about me and longing to tell everyone the truth. But where does that end? Struggling to find hope. Standing in discomfort and wishing it away. Praying that I can find strength in the right places and that I weather this storm in order to receive God’s truth and goodness.

    • Arden Bevere

      Hey Aine, know that there will be an end. God put an the end time of “a little while” on the suffering. Which I know that during it that time, it can feel like forever! Our team is going to be praying for you and believing that hope and God’s peace fills your life.

    • Hi Aine, I’ve experienced the same…Might I recommend that you also listen to Joyce Meyer? She’s amazing and her life story will inspire you to believe that God truly does see us through every trial, every form of rejection, and all kinds of difficult circumstances. When you’re in it though, it does feel like that feeling will last forever, but it doesn’t! 🙂 feed your spirit will God’s word and teachings that will lift you up. Things will look up and you will come out of this stronger through Jesus. Sending you a big hug!

    • Hi Aine,

      As I was reading your post I felt the Lord telling me to encourage you in this difficult time. I know this season you’re in seems like it will last forever but be assured it will not. I want to remind you of how God sees you. You are His child, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ to all that your heavenly Father has provided.You belong to God. You are righteous in his sight. He loves you with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). He knit you together in your mother’s womb.You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps.139:13-14). Please don’t look at the people of this world for your identity, look to the Lord. Your Heavenly Father loves you so much and he knows exactly what you’re feeling and going through.
      Something the Lord has taught me about fear is about casting my care of it onto him. Fear is worrying about those things that are happening that are out of our control. He tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to cast ALL our cares on him for he cares for us. Trust the Lord to reveal the truth to those people. Don’t let the enemy use fear to control you. Fear is the enemies playground. If he can get you in fear and doubting who you are in Christ then he has you right where he wants you. I heard a preacher once say that fear tolerated is faith contaminated. We’ve got to get your faith up. Look up scriptures that remind you of the goodness of God, write them down and read those over and over again.This will help build your faith.
      Please, please, please don’t let the enemy use this situation to make you doubt if you are loved and accepted. Let the Lord fight on your behalf. His ways are so much better than our ways. Gods got you. He is there for you. He is just waiting for you to let go and cast this care onto him. When we do that then he can take control of the situation and get to work. But we also have to make sure to not pick those cares back up. Even if you have to give it over to the Lord every other minute, keep doing it and before long you are going to see his hands at work.
      Exodus 14:14 tells us, “The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm” and in Deuteronomy 31:6 He tells us, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”

      Many Blessings! 🙂

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