1 Peter 4:19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator [go to God] and continue to do good[what’s right]. (NIV) [emphasis added]
Lonnie Berger writing to men said “In recent years 1 Peter 4:19 has become my definition for being a real man of God. A real man of God responds to hurt, suffering, or trials by ‘going to God and doing what is right’.” (A) We can certainly substitute “person” for “man”.
The words “suffer according to God’s will” have caused me to ask, just what does this mean.
My thoughts turned to Job when his wife said to him in his great suffering “Curse God and die”. Job responded; ”Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (B)
David all alone in the cave fleeing King Saul and his army for his life said “no one cares for my soul“ (C) At the end of the Psalm David placed his trust in God. David said; “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.” (D) David could have killed Saul two times but refused, instead he waited upon God to make him king and served for 40 years.
In the garden Jesus said “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as you will.” (E) God did not withhold His own Son from suffering on the cross.
Paul said “we also exult in our tribulations [suffering], knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; proven character; and hope;” for the future. (F) He also said that“ God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted [suffer] beyond what you are able, but …provide the way to escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (G)
Suffering can be light or heavy, physical, emotional, persecution, rejection, etc… We often cannot control the suffering but can control by the grace of God our reaction to suffering. We may delay hard decisions in an attempt to delay suffering into the future.
For example, the U. S. has failed to make a decision about controlling the U. S. acknowledged government debt of over $18 trillion and increasing, thus forcing the inevitable future suffering on our children and grandchildren.
It is easy to point at someone else’s failures, but what about mine. God has given me resources to use as His steward including health, spiritual gifts, financial resources, time, energy, etc… As an example, how good a steward of my health am I to keep carrying around 20 pounds of extra weight because I don’t have the self-control to eat right.
My decisions about choices are always made through a vision of the future that is either God/others-centered or self-centered. If self-centered I may be trying to transfer suffering into the future, instead of “suffering according to the will of God, going to God and doing what is right” today. Henry Luke February 13, 2015
Notes: A- Every Man a Warrior: helping Men Succeed In Life Book 2 page 41, by Lonnie Berger, Navigator Press; B-Job 2:9-10; C- Psalms 142:4 NKJV https://thehlukejourney.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/how-to-pray-in-times-of-distress-110/ ; D-Psalms 143:10; E-Matthew 26:39; F-Romans 5:3-5; G-1 Corinthians 10:13;