We’ve been exploring Peter’s list of supplements to our faith: “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Today’s topic can only be added in the face of suffering!
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines it this way: “The characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”
Do you sometimes waver in your faith because of what you’re going through? Peter reminds us that no matter our trials, we are to “be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)
How can our faith be purified and strengthened if not through the fire of trials? They are necessary for our growth.
Paul encouraged the Christians in Rome with these words: “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:17-18)
When you feel doubt creeping in, it’s time to take your thoughts captive and remember that your reward for faithfulness will greatly outweigh your present suffering.
Paul shared this with the church in Corinth: “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Those small troubles he was talking about included being hunted down, knocked down, and living in constant danger of death.
He lists even more hardships in Chapter 6: “We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food…We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
How would your trials compare to Paul’s? Follow his example, and fix your gaze on your eternal reward!
Read more about additions to our faith in