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September 14, 2019

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Everyone that is born in this earth will experience some pain, discomfort, misery, trouble or coining a keyword from the above verse, “suffering.” Job told his friends in Job 14:1-2, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not” (KJV). In case you don’t understand this verse, let me share this verse with you using the Living Bible, “How frail is man, how few his days, how full of trouble! He blossoms for a moment like a flower—and withers; as the shadow of a passing cloud, he quickly disappears.”

Though we complain about our plight in America, as compared to many nations in this earth we have nothing worthy of which to complain. Thank God, for the most part our suffering has nothing to do with our religious choices but rather the daily cares of life and our interaction with people who disturb our peace. Unlike many nations, we have numerous civil liberties that grant us our freedom in various areas. Wikipedia describes civil liberties like this, “Civil liberties or personal freedoms are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation, without due process. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may include the freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to bodily integrity. Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive liberty/positive rights and negative liberty/negative rights.”

I believe most Americans are focused on themselves and only a few thinks about the daily hardship that people outside of America experience. If you listen to the various news media outlets that share news about third world countries, you will soon realize living in America is terrific for most of our civil liberties described above is absent in these countries.

The lives of the citizens in the third world countries resemble that of Paul who described his sufferings for the gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 6:4-5, and 11:23-27. Some of the things he suffered were being troubled on every side, in hunger and thirst, persecuted, beaten, imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in afflictions, in necessities, in weariness, in painfulness, and journeyings. Additionally, he was in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by his own countrymen, in perils by heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, and perils among false brethren. And despite all of these things Paul in Romans 8:18 said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Finally, lest we become discouraged in our sufferings, Peter mentions four things in 1 Peter 5:10 that eventually suffering accomplishes. Accordingly, we are made perfect (to be completed thoroughly, repaired, restored or adjusted), stablished (to turn resolutely in a specific direction, to confirm, steadfastly set), strengthened (increased in spiritual knowledge and power), and settled (erect in a foundation).

I pray that if you are suffering, now that you have read this blog, you are feeling better.

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