In the sermon yesterday morning we learned about suffering and the will of God. The main Bible references were in 1 Peter 3. Because God is good and knows everything, He can allow suffering and still make it work out for something better. Because God allows humans to make our own decisions, sometimes we hurt each other, but God can still work that out for good as well. (See also Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28)
Peter points out that it’s better to suffer for doing what’s right than for doing what’s wrong (1 Peter 3:17). It’s normal and necessary to suffer for doing wrong, but it’s quite the test in life to suffer for doing something right. Jesus Himself suffered, and in that suffering He redeemed our own (1 Peter 3:18), putting it alongside His. If you’re going to suffer, you might as well have a good reason for it!
Suffering is inevitable. But not only is suffering inevitable, it is necessary. We so frequently learn better when we’re having a hard time. It’s easier to see what we’re really made of when we’re going through something difficult. Our convictions and beliefs, or lack thereof, become much more pronounced. And the goodness of God and His help alongside us can shine brighter!
Now we come to the reason for this post’s title. Suffering can make you better or it can make you bitter. An old man was talking to a couple that had lost their baby. He told them that times like this are like being plunged into boiling water. If you are an egg, you will harden and become unresponsive. If you are a potato, you will become soft, pliable, and adaptable.
So when suffering comes, Lord may I be like a potato.