“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.”
if need be
Sorrow is necessary for the Christian’s development. It is a must for spiritual growth. God appoints us to sorrow (1 Thessalonians 3:3). These sorrows never stay longer than they must.
The word “need” signifies that which is needful, due, proper. It is what must take place, and it often implies inevitability. (Mark 13:7) The events of our lives are part of God’s plan and purpose for us.
“Need” connotes the element of necessity in an event. Under God’s economy, it is logically necessary that we face suffering. Suffering is God’s personal will for us, not neutral fate.
Jesus uses “need” for the imperative to do God’s will. It is the “need” of God’s sovereignty that governs his work and leads him to suffering and glory.
Luke 4:43 “But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.””
Luke 9:22 Saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
Luke 17:25 “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” This is God’s will as laid down in Scripture.
The followers of Christ stand under the same necessity
Acts 9:6 “So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9:16 “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Acts 14:22 “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’” It is a demand for obedient faith in every situation of life.
The New Testament uses “must” when referring to the coming of Christ. It is impossible to evade the reality of it happening. The necessity of it happening comes from the very nature of the God who has committed himself to this plan.
Jesus in Matthew 24:6 “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.”
Revelation 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants things which must shortly take place.”
Luke uses this term for the necessity of prayer in the Christian life.
Luke 18:1 “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Suffering is necessary.
Suffering should never surprise us. The Christian should expect to suffer. Everything that God sends our way is necessary. Every sickness is necessary. Every trial is necessary. Our trouble is part of the plan of God.
Some people say, “I never have trouble.” Just wait, it will come. If you do have trouble, join the club, we all face it.
God never sends one unnecessary teardrop. Suffering is a must. God does all things for a purpose.
This same word “must” appears when Jesus introduced the term “born again.”
John 3:7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”
Acts uses “must” for salvation as well.
Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts uses “must” of the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation.
Acts 16:30-31 “And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”
Will you respond to the imperative to receive Christ?