It seems like every time I turn on a movie there is a story about some terrorist group trying to get a nuclear bomb into the USA and exploding it. Of course, a terrorist wants to cause as much havoc as possible, thus the name terrorist. It seems like the nuclear bomb is the cat daddy of attempting to make the most impact. A nuclear reaction that takes place in the exploding of a nuclear bomb is basically a collision between two particles, and in that explosion the collision causes a massive reaction. The more these particles react in an explosive way, the more power and the more damage. Peter was speaking to our reaction to suffering in Chapter 4 of 1 Peter and he gives some helpful hints about how to handle suffering. In my last blog I discussed others helping us through our suffering and the positive effect of that happening. Today’s blog deals more specifically with the constant suffering and our reaction to it. He goes on to state that God brings about peace in suffering, but our wrong reaction to suffering can bring on more strife and confusion. Not to mention, be a bad witness for Christ. In verse 12 Peters says, “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing.” In other words, we are going to have suffering, but how we handle it is more the concern of God. If handled right, a great witness for Christ will be seen. If handled wrong, a great amount of damage could be the outcome.
Reaction is a huge part of the Christian Walk. James writes about being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. All of this shows that our reaction to things has an affect on us and those who watch us. We should be in such a close walk with God, that our reactions are not nuclear, but peaceful. Here’s something to think about: If two particles hit each other and one of those particles absorbs the reaction from the aggressive one, then the aggressive one will be minimized. The blast is stopped because one of the particles was not aggressive, but passive. Passivity sure gets a bum wrap and the use of the word sometimes can denote weakness or lack of purpose. Passive in the believers life is more aggressively Godly and filled with purpose and foundation. Our passive is very active when reacting from God’s Truth. Our active is very destructive when acting from a worldly viewpoint. Remember Christian, if we are going to suffer we need to realize that we must suffer from time to time but God is faithful to lift us from that suffering with the hope that God is with us and what verse 19 says, “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” How we react to the suffering we face is key to making it through that suffering.
I have noticed in 1 Peter that the suffering issue is huge and that he hits it again and again. The possible reason for him hitting it a lot is that he was writing to those of the dispersion or those who were scattered. What scattered them? Persecution! When they read this letter or heard it’s words it had to be encouraging to know that their suffering was not without purpose. It possibly made them aware that God was going to continue to help them in the suffering and also enable them to make it through it. Their reaction to suffering was a constant witness to those looking for some good ole pure truth. The strength they showed in the midst of tough times kept the faith moving forward and effective. If they had reacted wrongly and without a Godly perspective the work of their ministry would have slowed or even stopped. But…..they kept on going and going and going. We have our faith today because of the way they handled suffering and those who come after us will be directly affected by how we handle the suffering we will surely go through. That’s why God’s truth is endless and ever increasing and that’s why our reaction to things that we face must be met with His truth and His perspective.
We will have reactions to the things we face, just make sure they aren’t nuclear reactions…
The Pilgrimage continues..