Jesus does not want suffering
The apostle Peter is well known to us. He once wrote a letter to recent converts to Christianity where he begins to present to these Christians the wonder of hope in the blessings God has in store for their children. But Pedro knew that the path is not easy and said:
1Peter 1: 6
6 Rejoice over this, although it is now possible for you to be sad for a while, because of the many kinds of trials you are undergoing.
Brothers, Peter was a simple man, a fisherman who had his life transformed by Jesus Christ. In this letter he tries to explain to some “non-Jews” who have become Christians, some issues relating to trials. It is important that we have an understanding of this topic to avoid frequent confusion that can lead to “spiritual discouragement”. So today, with the grace of God and filled with the Holy Spirit, we will leave here with the certainty that “Jesus does not want suffering”!
Why is it that many people think that in order to be a true Christian it is necessary to go through a period of suffering, pain, anguish? Some brothers may question themselves thinking: I don’t have a sad story to tell, so am I really from Christ?
The answer is YES, you don’t have to suffer to be a Christian! Now let’s explain …
Trial: difficulty or situation, something concrete that is done to verify something.
Suffering: feeling of physical or moral pain.
Here we see that the test happens to confirm something. The teacher applies a test to students to see how much they have learned. This is a fact, something concrete: the proof does exist. Some students suffer because of this test, because they have doubts or are not prepared for it; other students take the test without suffering, because they listened to the teacher, studied what he said, sought to deepen the teaching. However, both those who suffer and those who do not, are approved when they passand get their certificate. This example is very valid for us, although simple. And since Peter was simple, he used something very similar:
1Peter 1: 7
7 These trials are to show that your faith is true. For even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire. In the same way, your faith, which is worth much more than gold, needs to be tested in order to remain firm. And so you will receive approval, glory and honor, on the day that Jesus Christ is revealed.
Brothers, the message may already be clear to you, but I would like to go a little further so that we all have a foundation to face the enemy or to guide other brothers when this doubt arises.
Do you remember Joao Batista, Jesus’ cousin who was announcing the coming of Christ? The Bible tells us that he “ate grasshoppers and honey from the bush”. Joao did this to empty himself of all pride while waiting for his meeting with Mestre Jesus. He lived simply and without comfort, but at no time did the Bible describe any suffering of John. He lived in the hope of being prepared to be in the presence of Jesus!
So does it mean that I have to abandon everything I have if I want to meet Jesus? NO, not everything, but pride does! As long as there is something in your life that you don’t confess that it was God who gave it to you, you still have pride.
Let’s leave Joao here and talk about Pedro again. Peter did not prepare for the encounter with Christ, it may be that he was not even waiting for Jesus. But one day Jesus found Peter. Jesus gave him a scholarship to the theology university, gave him several books explaining each verse of the “scriptures” and said: “I’ll be back in 5 years to see your report card”. Right?
Of course not! Let’s open the Bible in Luke chapter 5.
In this episode, Jesus borrowed Peter’s boat to deliver a sermon. After using the boat, Jesus wanted to perform a miracle to “pay” for the boat. Pedro made it clear that he was not very confident and in verse 5 Pedro says “- Master, we work all night and do not fish anything. But, since you are ordering the nets to be played, I will obey. ”
Brothers, look at this behavior of Pedro. So far he was totally skeptical and still wanted to make his “knowledge” about fishing clear. At this point, Peter followed Jesus not out of faith, but out of respect. They did as Jesus commanded and caught so many fish that they had to ask for help to pull the net!
The miracle happened in Peter’s life, let’s read together:
Luke 5: 8-11
8When Simon Peter saw what had happened, he knelt before Jesus and said: – Lord, stay away from me, for I am a sinner!
9Simão and the others who were with him were amazed at the amount of fish they had caught. 10Tiago and João, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s companions, were also very amazed. Then Jesus said to Simon:
– Do not be afraid! From now on you will be fishing for people.
11They dragged the boats to the beach, left everything and followed Jesus.
That’s what Jesus calls us: He presents himself to us and when we empty ourselves and recognize that we are sinners, He takes us along with Him to perfect our faith! Glory to God!
Note: we must not understand that studying theology is worthless. The lesson here is not to be limited by that.
But what about brothers? They left there and went with Jesus, accompanying the Master with much suffering, hunger and pain. Right?
Of course not! Jesus does not want suffering!
Peter went through several classes with Jesus:
Peter rebuked Jesus while He explained about his death and was exorcised.
He refused Jesus to wash his feet!
Even though he heard all of Jesus ‘teachings, Peter tried to avoid Jesus’ arrest by attacking a soldier.
He was told by Jesus that he was going to deny him and yet he denied Jesus 3 times!
What a patient teacher this Jesus!
Pedro went through several tests and reprimands. But in the Bible it is not written that Jesus made Peter suffer. Peter was always with Jesus, making mistakes or getting it right, he was always looking for Jesus because he knew that there was the Master.
And at the end of the “training” Pedro received his diploma:
17And he asked for the third time: – Simon, son of John, do you love me?
So Peter was saddened that Jesus asked three times, “Do you love me?” And he replied: – You know everything and you know that I love you, Lord!
And Jesus ordered: – Take care of my sheep.
Brothers, God is always with us. His Holy Spirit lives in us! Glory to God!
Let us be like Peter and go through the trials of God with confidence because Jesus is with us and with joy because we share in the glory of Christ!
Let’s pray together:
Lord, may your name be praised and glorified when we go through trials that are confident of your presence and care. Forgive our mistakes Father and help us to perfect our faith through Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit! Amen!
the exam and receive their diploma.
This example is very valid for us, although simple. And since Peter was simple, he used something very similar: