For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. — 1 Peter 3:17
There are many people that are part of the Christian faith that seem to suffer. The interesting thought that we see in this verse in 1 Peter is that sometimes that suffering is for good and sometimes it’s for evil. I think that anyone can agree that we understand the concept of suffering for evil. We see that all around us in the world each day.
The idea of suffering for good is a unique concept. The idea is that you are not suffering because of something you did. You are suffering because there is something that God wants to bring about in you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of one person that wants to sign up for difficulty and suffering in life.
Yet, Peter writes that it is better that we suffer if it be God’s will than for evil doing. One writer said it like this and I can think no better way to say it.
“There are effects to be accomplished by affliction which can be secured in no other way; and some of the happiest results on the soul of a Christian, some of the brightest traits of character, are the effect of trials.”
We cannot achieve that level of character and happiness through our own works, it takes the interaction of an almighty God. It takes God allowing things to happen in our lives that test us, try us, and make us into what He desires. As a potter molds the clay, so does God mold a Christian’s life who is willing to fully submit to Him.
If you find yourself suffering, don’t assume that you did something or are out of the will of God. Sometimes, you may be in the center of God’s will and still find yourself in the struggles and trials of life. Being in the will of God doesn’t exempt you from suffering, but it can bring you to a deeper faith. If this is the case, trust God that He will take care of you and that He is doing a special work in your life.