For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. - 1 Peter 3:17-18a (NIV)
We live in a world that sells ways to get rid of or cope with pain and suffering. We are told that suffering is something we shouldn’t have to go through and pain is something we should be saved from. Doctors say the most dangerous diseases and sicknesses are the ones that have no symptoms or pain with them. Without pain and suffering you may not see what is killing you, but maybe more importantly seeing what is keeping you alive.
Pain makes us realize that God is the One we need to depend on. He is the One that sustains us and gives us life. He is the "what" that keeps us alive. If we didn’t suffer at all, we as fleshing beings would regularly see no need for God. Peter tells us if you are going to suffer it is better to suffer for doing what is right because as your faith remains in Christ through your suffering you know that you are saved. Christ suffered for the sins of the world so that we may know God. It’s better to suffer for doing the will of God even if it means facing sickness or persecution. At least you know the pain you feel is because you are doing what God wants you to do.
Do you feel the pain or is your sin a disease without pain because you have moved far from God. The pain is worth going through if it’s for the good of our heavenly Father. He died so you could live and even in your suffering you are alive in Christ. He looks and see’s you and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
God if we must suffer let it be because we are doing what is good and pleasing in your sight. Convict our hearts to feel the pain that our sin causes you. God as you break us down build us up in your love. Amen.