Sunday, June 14, 2015

Even the Good Suffer, But... (1 Peter 4:12-19)

We have brought a world of suffering upon ourselves. We are to blame. Given the choice of doing things the way the universe was designed and following the Creator’s plans, or going our own blind, foolish, sure to fail way, we chose the latter. Every single one of us choses that way, each new generation, each individual. People question why the “good” must suffer, and how can there be a God when such injustice prevails. The refusal to accept that there is a real yet beyond comprehension God based on this incomprehension is a true case of “kicking against the goads.”

We have been imprisoned in our own rebellion. Yet we have a God that suffered for us. He has defeated our rebellion and overcome death and suffering to provide us with freedom. Yet to use our barbed chains—earned in rebellion against God—as grounds for rejecting that freedom is an extension of rebellion. (In other passages of Scripture it is deemed the unforgivable sin.)

But suffering in this fallen world is still a temporal reality. Just as Christ suffered, we will suffer. We have been declared free but are not yet enjoying all the benefits of that freedom. Yes, the declared-by-God-good as well as the deemed-in-the-world’s-eyes-as-good all suffer. We live in a reality where rebellion against God still imposes consequences.

However, if we do not suffer consequences earned by sin, but merely by living in a world full of sin, we can count ourselves blessed for we have the hope of our future. We know there is an end to our suffering even as we just barely escape it on the merits of another. To face an eternity wallowing and suffering in our own rebellion… that would be unbearable.

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