In 1 Peter, we are told that our faith in God will lead to a glorious inheritance and salvation. But, Peter continues...
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith -- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire -- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1:6-7)God allows his followers' faith to be tested, so that we might discover our own weaknesses and His infinite strength. It is to increase/deepen our faith in Him.
Further in 1 Peter, we are told that "since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin" (4:1). Based on my study Bible and my own meditation on this passage, I think it is saying that physical suffering can equip us with a new outlook on life. Priorities may shift: things that were once insignificant take on new meaning, while other things lose their value. Sinful desires become less alluring because we have learned (through suffering) to depend on Christ to help us through.
God gives us trials in a way to break us... but let me explain. Trials and suffering can bring us to the end of our own resources, and hopefully back to God. There is a shifting point during times of trial and suffering. When we reach that point, realize, and accept that ONLY with God can we get through this, things take on new meaning (even the suffering looks different). God wants us to place our complete trust and faith in Him. When we no longer have the strength and the resources to pick ourselves back up, we turn to God to lift us up.
Now, don't get me wrong, I still struggle with completely trusting in God to give me the strength to keep going with all of this pain. But, in my heart, I know that God will never leave me and that this experience is to bring me closer to Him. I don't understand why this happened to me, why I must be in so much pain every single day, why my life has been completely flipped upside-down, etc... (and I go through stages of denial and anger about it) but I long to honor my Lord. At my core, my deepest desire is to serve, honor, and glorify Him who gives me the strength and courage to go on. I don't know how, in the midst of all of this, I am supposed to praise, honor, and serve Him; but I can't give up. He has never given up on me, and I will not give up on trying to be His faithful servant.
Kerrie Roberts - No Matter What
© 2010 Jamie Valendy.