3 Ways to Stay Joyful in Seasons of Suffering

by | Jan 22, 2021 | Spiritual Growth

Shrouded by the cover of darkness, Peter crouched by the crackling fire. Only moments earlier, he swore his uncompromising devotion to Jesus.

Yet, in the blur of Jesus’ arrest, Peter ran, terrified at the prospect of suffering for the name of Christ. Restored by grace and commissioned to do great things for the kingdom, Peter penned 1 Peter 4 with a transformed perspective.

Under Emperor Nero’s orders, the Roman governors prosecuted Christians as criminals. Peter encouraged the beleaguered believers scattered across Asia Minor to stand strong in the face of persecution. The threat of imprisonment and martyrdom loomed large, and Peter, himself, was eventually executed under Nero’s cruel reign. The instructions in 1 Peter 4:12-19 serve as a template for the 21st century church undergoing persecution for the gospel today.

  1. Don’t be surprised. ” Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Pet. 4:12). God uses seasons of suffering to teach us obedience, steer us toward surrender and bring glory to Himself.

Suffering shouldn’t surprise us; it should refine us. Our attitude in times of testing determines the fruit of a trial. 1 Pet 4:13 heartens us: “But rejoice insofar as you share in Christ’s sufferings, so that you may rejoice and be glad also in the revelation of His glory.” We share not only in Christ’s glory but also in His sufferings. When I go through difficult situations, I’m tempted to huff, “Why me?” or lament “Woe is me.” Peter’s words challenge me to instead prayerfully respond by seeking to understand how God can best use seasons of suffering to advance His kingdom.

  1. Don’t be ashamed. 1 Pet. 2:14 shares the promise of blessing in times of testing. “If you are reproached because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” When we endure persecution for our stand for righteousness, not because of our own wrongdoing, we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in a unique way to empower us, embolden us, enable us and equip us. “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God because of it” (1 Pet. 4:16). Verses 17-18 begs us to sit with this truth: We may undergo hardship temporarily for our faith, but it’s nothing compared to suffering for eternity for our lack of it. When our perspective is eternal, our suffering has purpose.
  2. Don’t be derailed. “So then, let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good” (1 Pet. 4:19). We can trust God to use seasons of suffering to bring us closer to Jesus and make us more dependent on Him. Nothing should deter us from our readiness to joyfully serve as Christ’s representatives or derail us from our God-given purpose. We don’t have to let the fear of man or the intimidation of God’s assignments keep us from obeying His call. The safest place we will ever be is in the center of God’s will. {eoa}

Excerpted from Angela Donadio’s Devotional Astounded: Encountering God in Everyday Moments.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest