Your Suffering Only Lasts for a Little While

A little while, in this article, is a reference to how the time of our suffering is so small in comparison to the other things that God has for our lives.

In our text (i.e., I Pet. 5:8-11), Peter first of all urges his readers to resist the devil. And then he has them to know that God will restore them, after they have suffered a little while.

We don’t spend much time talking about resisting the devil. And every now and then we need to remind ourselves that we all must suffer, but we have some hope also. In this devotional series, I want to suggest that we should work on resisting and suffering with hope.

In this particular devotional, let’s focus on the idea of "a little while." Thank God that our suffering only lasts for a "relatively" short time.

II Peter 3:8 teaches that a thousand years is but yesterday with the Lord. In other words, don’t always look for a little while to mean tomorrow or next week. However, when God does deliver us, the time of suffering in comparison to our time of no suffering is becomes so small.

Believers count not only pre-death time, but we can count post death time also. That is to say, if we have to suffer five years out of seventy years of life before death then we can not only count five out of seventy, but we can also count five years out of seventy years plus eternity.

When a believer dies, only this body of ours dies. We have a soul that will spend eternity with the Lord (see Jn. 3:16; I Thess. 4:17). Eternity is such a large span of time that we have problems getting our minds around it.

Let me put it like this, as we pray for things to calm down in foreign affairs and if we think the time we have had our troops involved in Afghanistan has been a long time then we have not even grown close to understanding eternity.

If we think that it is taking a long time for African Americans to gain equality in America then we are not even close to how long eternity is.

If we think women have been treated as second-class citizens for a long time in America and human history then we have not even gotten close to how long eternity is.

No matter what kind of suffering we endure and no matter how long we have to endure it on this side of death, all suffering must end at death. Even though we are not in church (smile), somebody ought to say, "Praise the Lord!" And then on the other side of death is eternity with the Lord.

When we think about time like this, it allows us to see that suffering doesn't last as long as it appears. Twenty or fifty years is nothing in comparison to 50,000 and 100,000 years with the Lord. Let's remember that suffering only lasts for only a little while.

Self Examination
List some things that it seems as if you have been suffering through for a long time.

How does thinking about these issues in light of eternity with the Lord help you cope?

Prayer
Great and awesome God, I praise You for being a God who is more powerful than any satanic influence that I will ever encounter. I thank You for Your marvelous plan for Your people. I thank You for saving me and allowing me to be numbered among Your people.

I confess that I have complained about suffering too long and even doubted You, when I could not see an end to my suffering. Please forgive me for these and my many other sins, in the name of Jesus.

Please help me to remember and trust that me suffering only lasts for a little while. Thank You, in the name of Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Please complete the feedback form below.

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