“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled’.”
you are blessed.
This word “blessed” is a different word than the word “blessing” in 1 Peter 3:9. This word means privileged. Christians who suffer for righteousness’ sake will enter a higher state. God will give them a felicity of soul. This is not happiness, but this person enters fortunate divine blessing upon his life.
When we suffer for the highest reasons, God blesses us in a special sense. God blesses those special people who make an impact during times of duress.
God chooses to bless us with the opportunity to represent Jesus Christ in time on earth. He suffered, and we suffer. We can simulate his suffering in a world without Christ.
God designs all suffering for blessing.
“Blessedness” is a higher state than happiness. We get God’s favor if we suffer for righteousness’ sake. We enter a state of blessedness. God can bless us even during duress in our lives.
Are you truly blessed for suffering for righteousness’ sake? If we do right and suffer for it, we transcend the tawdry issues of time.
Mt. 5:11, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”
People face many problems today. We endure domestic problems, financial problems, and physical problems. If we suffer so many burdens and difficulties that we do not experience felicity of soul, we present a caricature of Christianity. We present a perverse picture of what it means to be a Christian.
How can we convert suffering to blessing? Some suffering has to do with divine discipline. If this is the case, all God expects of us is to confess our sin.
1 Jn 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Suffering cannot touch the things that matter most. Changes and chances in our lives will not affect our state of blessedness. If we put a priority on the values of this life, we make ourselves vulnerable. We could lose those things in a flash of time. We would put ourselves at the mercy of deep hurt. The man who transcends earthly values is the man who anchors himself in eternal things.
Question, in your principle you state “God designs all suffering for blessing.”
Does this mean that God creates the suffering that we go through or as with Job, God allows suffering (carried out by Satan and his angles) and uses it for our benefit?
I know that God does not temp us, but I just want to be clear about the origin of our suffering.
Thanks in advance.
Graham, there are a number of issues in your question. First, is the principle of concursus (see this study: https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/concursus/gods-decree-and-free-will/) Second, thus, Satan cannot tempt us without God’s permission. Conclusion, everything that happens to us happens under the domain of God’s sovereignty. Nothing happens without His control. Also, note the reasons why Christians suffer: https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/suffering-biblical-reasons/
Grant, Thank you for your response. After reading the links I understand much better. Thank you!