Why does the Bible tell us to rejoice in suffering?
It sounds like something that would be told to members of a suspicious cult, doesn’t it? To be told God wants us experience suffering and that we shouldn’t just tolerate it, but delight in it? Why? How does this align with the gospel?
I found perspective in The Message translation of this chapter:
“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” (4:1-2 ish)
I’m sure there’s a rabbit hole to go down about which Greek word for ‘suffering‘ is being used here. (Theologians, jump in! I love the details.) But this is what I love about the different translations available to us! We can access so many different ways to understand the same sentences.
For me, learning to think like Christ helps me understand what it means to rejoice in suffering. I especially love that last sentence up there.
Don’t be afraid to switch translations now and then and use the resources available to you. There are lots of great apps and websites. What Bible translation do you connect with the most?