Suffering because I am a Christian is a foreign concept to me personally. The suffering I have experienced through my life has not been because I was a Christian, but just because life "happens," and suffering is a part of life.
Bev has several bunches of Bermuda Grass in her flower beds. They can be renewed each year by burning them off. A few weeks ago I watered down the area around the bunches of grass to protect the other flowers, and then set fire to the six feet high grasses that were very dry and brittle. The fire that I created was impressive, but it left a very black and ugly area where the beautiful Bermuda Grass had been. Over the past few weeks as I watched and waited, I have seen these areas come to life again, with fresh new growths of green grass. They will again reach their height of six feet or more.
So it is with suffering. Our Heavenly Father has placed limits on our sufferings. He knows how much we can bear. When it is enough, it ends. While the after-effects may seem to be devastating. God's timing and restoration always bring beauty and growth that we would never have known without the "burning."
Wherever you might be in this "renewal" process, take heart; the results will be worth it.
"These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:7
May our gracious Lord bless and keep you today, and never forget that you are loved!!!