Our Identity in Suffering: Priscilla Shirer - Q Ideas
Video from Q Ideas
"Priscilla Shirer shares how Western Christians can better trust God in the midst of suffering." from video introduction.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
As Christians our identity is always found in Christ first and foremost. Yet our sin nature and the world can lead us to make idols of many things. All of our experiences both good and bad constitute a part of our identity (and the rest comes through our unique selves as created by God). Our suffering no matter the source also is a part of our identity.
Like many experiences in life we can chose to use our suffering for the better or for the worse. Suffering always changes us.
We do not go directly from suffering to hope, it is not a straight line. For many suffering leads to rebellion, anger, hopes and dreams crushed. Why does suffering increase faith and hope in God for some and destroy it for others?
We must understand that our suffering may not lead to the outcome we desire. Our suffering may make our quality or circumstance in life worse. God is not a genie and he is not your loving Father so he can coddle you, he desires to have you with him in eternity which may require great adversity and even death NOW!
Endurance in suffering produces a more mature character. Our suffering softens our rough edges, makes us less judgmental, and helps us value people over things and circumstances. Suffering and adversity forces us to focus on what’s important in life.
We ultimately become more compassionate, self-controlled, content, prayerful, and more passionate about the Bible, and heaven, our next home. Our physical limitations are teaches us kindness, patience, and grace, an opportunity for growth instead of becoming irritable, critical, and impatient if left on our own.
We then can learn to rejoice in our suffering, knowing God is using it to produce in us what we could not produce in our own strength. Our faith and character are stronger, more like Christ’s.
Thanks be to God!