I remember one year our family went to the beach. We always went to the same place each year: Schooner Ridge in Duck, North Carolina. We always went in the off season… less crowds, less immodesty, and better pricing! We had the greatest time as a family. We really love the beach and miss it so much!
One year, one of the children decided to go barefooted on the deck near the rec center. Big mistake. Dozens of tiny splinters embedded into his feet. When we got back to the house, I had the lovely task of removing those splinters so that they wouldn’t get infected.
Yes, he would have preferred I leave the splinters there, but I preferred not to allow infection to set in. I hated that it hurt him, but I loved him too much to just leave them there. Just because something hurts doesn’t mean it is done to harm.
Peter was writing to believers who were going through extreme persecution. It makes me think of some things I read this morning dealing with Christians suffering persecution in Iraq. Oh how my heart breaks for them! But in those times we must always remember that God is not a mean, angry God who is zapping people who step out of line. He is our Father, disciplining, refining, training, shaping His children into the image of Christ.
He can even use the ugliness of persecution for His glory and our good. He can use the evil plans of the Devil and his crowd to bring about His purposes like He did in Job’s life. Does He want His children to suffer? No. But does He use suffering to bring about greater purposes? Yes.
All things includes persecution and suffering. All things…
What carries us through difficult times? Knowing that God is refining not seeking revenge. Knowing He seeks to help, not harm. Knowing that He doesn’t want to crush us, but cares for us.
And the Lord is GOOD!