by Rick Warren — January 16, 2018
“Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19 NIV).
There are people out there who say God wants everybody to be a millionaire. There are some people who think following God is like having a golden ticket that guarantees you’ll be a millionaire, you’ll never get cancer, and you won’t have any problems in your life.
But the Bible says sometimes suffering is God’s will for your life. Why? Because it makes you more like Jesus. It deepens your faith. It brings you rewards in Heaven. It builds your character. It teaches you to worship instead of worry.
There are three kinds of suffering in the world. Common suffering is suffering that’s universal — it doesn’t matter if you’re Baptist or Buddhist or Muslim or atheist or whatever. Everybody suffers certain things. When a hurricane comes into town, it doesn’t just pick on Christians. There is suffering in the world that we all share in common.
The second kind of suffering is carnal suffering. That’s suffering you bring on yourself from your own sin. If I choose to live an immoral life, one consequence could be a sexually transmitted disease. My choices led to that result, so it’s my fault. It’s not God’s fault. It’s not anybody else’s fault. Or if I spend more money than I make and go into debt and face bankruptcy, that’s my fault, too. I suffer because of my sin and bad decisions.
Not all suffering is from sin. The Bible says sometimes suffering is according to the will of God, because God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:19, “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (NIV).
No matter what arrows are thrown at you, no matter what you suffer in this life because of your faith, God wants you to remain faithful to him and keep on doing good to others. Is that easy to do? Not always. Does it take faith? Definitely. Is it worth it? Absolutely, because God is guiding you to becoming more like Jesus.