Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
– 1 Peter 4:19 NASB
We have learned from Peter that not all suffering is worthy of God’s commendation:
For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
– 1 Peter 2:19-20 NASB
Therefore, it is suffering according to the will of God that has value in His sight. He takes note when we pay a price to obey Him. Jesus paid an enormous price to obey God – even the ultimate price of His life on earth. Jesus’ decision was rewarded generously. This is the truth we learn: he who sacrifices much, loves much. Because Jesus loved to the limit, He was rewarded to the limit.
The “will of God” is, of course, that which we ought to do. It’s how we want others to treat us. When we do the will of God – and suffer as a result – God has His eye on us and will surely reward us as surely as He rewarded Jesus.
First and foremost, God will strengthen our souls with peace and joy. Remember that the soul is where we experience consciousness – our thoughts and feelings. Every other reward is secondary to that. For if we can be happy and peaceful, what is more important?
By doing what is right in spite of any suffering involved, we are entrusting our souls to the one we’re trying to please. He has proven over and over – especially through Jesus Christ – that He is a faithful Creator.
One of the most important truths communicated by the fact that the Old Testament is full of promises about which the New Testament reports the fulfillment is that God…is…faithful. God is not going to say something today and forget it tomorrow…or even 10,000 years later. What He says He’s going to do, He does!
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
O Lord God, You created us in the beginning to do Your will, and when we disobeyed, You kept working to bring us back to Yourself and a place of obedience. Help me think about how I can make today a day of obedience…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.