- David Sutton
Rejoice in Suffering?
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice.” One of the hardest times in which to rejoice is amid suffering. Yet the Apostle Paul tells us in the first chapter of his epistle on joy, that we are to rejoice in suffering, especially when suffering for the Lord in living out our faith. How can we rejoice in suffering? Paul says in vv. 12-26, “Look at what Christ is doing.”
God is always at work, and He is always at work in your life making all things work together for good. Paul sat in prison, but he knew the difficult situation he was in was working toward his good, and that it would not last forever. Either he would be released from prison (whenever that might be), or he would be released to heaven. He says, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit” (1:19). Either way, God was at work, and things would get better.
In your life, as you go through difficult times, especially in suffering for the Lord, remember that God is working all things for your good, and you can grow spiritually from them (James 1:3). Also remember that heaven awaits you. Either way, things will get better. With that in mind, rejoice.