This last Sunday, I shared a message about suffering as a Christian. (You can listen to it by clicking here.) 1 Peter 4:12-19 was the text.
One of the greatest blessings that I receive as a pastor is to watch the Word of God cause people to grow. Over the last couple weeks, one of the teenagers that comes to Calvary Fellowship has been writing some reflections about the sermon each week. It has been a joy to read these. Here’s what she e-mailed me last night:
This Sunday Pastor Pat used a couple analogies I really liked. He likened a suffering as Christian to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. If you’ve ever seen it, or watched a video of a butterfly squirming out of it chrysalis, you know it looks quite difficult. The butterfly has to break open the film holding it in, then slowly puuuull itself out, taking care not to drop off the slippery surface. Once out, it can take a couple hours for their wings to unfold and dry before they are ready for flight. It is a very tiresome process, but the result is so worth it.
Butterflies are beautiful creatures. And they can fly! I think that more than makes up for it.
What about a woman who has a baby? The pain she has to go through is nothing once she has her baby in her arms. She has new life, and that’s all that matters.
Isn’t it the same way with our trials? God uses trials to mold and shape us into instruments for his use. To purify us, like gold (Psalm 66:10). The things we have to go through may be very difficult. 1 Peter 4:12 calls them fiery ordeals. But look what James 4 :12 says: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” Crown of life? Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It sounds pretty sweet to me!
Lets keep in mind this promised “crown of life” when we’re going through our “fiery ordeals”. Remember that at the end, it’ll all be worth it. Suffering as a Christian and the pain of our trials will seem insignificant next to the joy of our reward. God is moulding you, so that after everything you’ll be able to take off, like a beautiful butterfly.
Push out of your chrysalis,
Push with all your might.
You’ll find it was all worth it
When you emerge a butterfly.
Stretch out your wings, dear butterfly,
And flash your colours bright.
Your beauty is well due to you,
For such a faithful fight.