I think I understand why Peter rebuked Jesus. I think I know why he took Jesus aside and scolded him, telling Jesus that he would never be arrested, never put on trial and never be beaten and killed. I think I know the emotions that were going through his head: how he didn’t want to see his friend hurt; how he knew Jesus didn’t deserve to be arrested; how he didn’t want Jesus taken away from him. He didn’t want the pain. He couldn’t bear the thought of how he would suffer watching his friend, Jesus, go through all that.
I think I understand all of that because I act the same way when it comes to suffering. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to suffer. But I do. And so do you. And the problem with suffering is that it doesn’t go away, really. One problem is solved and the next one comes. We make it through one trial only to head right into another trial.
But the greater problem of suffering is that you and I spend so much energy rejecting it. We spend our energy complaining about how terrible it is when God intends suffering for our good. Paul says it this way in Romans 5, “…we also rejoice in our sufferings.” God tells us there is actually joy in suffering. There is joy because God is improving us with suffering and there is joy because in suffering God leads us to his love.
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