Just What Other Men Have Met
"God called you to endure suffering because Christ suffered for you. He left you an example so that you could follow in his footsteps." 1 Peter 2:21 GWT
I read my favorite poems all week and recited them to myself in the midst of the things that happened. The title is taken from "See It Through", a poem penned by Edgar Albert Guest, and as I read it, I stopped at that line. Just What Other Men Have Met…what does that mean to me, at this point in my life? When I learned this poem, it reassured me that I could endure the obstacles I was facing, and that I was not the only person to go through that–in fact, there were people I could turn to and cry on. As I know think on a broader scale–no person is exactly alike another person–even down to your look (even with twins). God gave us the distinction of being unique creatures, but He also gave us the blessing of having His wisdom recorded for all to read. The Bible tells in many different verses of how we are to share in Christ's sufferings so that we can aspire to be more like Him.
Difficulties in life are a sure thing–in fact I don't know anywhere in the Bible that says that life will be a cake walk. In fact, in1 Peter 4:12-13 it says: "Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."(NLT) We are to not be surprised! All of the early disciples and apostles endured the same, if not worse, ordeals–Stephen was stoned and became one of the first martyrs in Acts, and countless other acts. Even Paul, who was named Saul at the time, participated in bringing suffering upon all Christians during the early persecutions. I have the favor of seeing the Underground City in Cappadocia, Turkey, where many early Christians lived underground to survive.
What a blessing I just realized we have! Even though there are others before us that went through the same difficulties we face in life–hatred, envy, and jealousy, financial strains, illness, death, and loss–we can rejoice that there is certain glory awaiting us at the end. Like the poem says we must hold our heads high to the finish; why, you say? Well the promise is that we will share in Christ's glory. 1 Peter 1:6 says "You are extremely happy about these things, even though you have to suffer different kinds of trouble for a little while now. The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again." The promise of Christ returning, and by believing and trusting in Him, we will see Him again, and live forever. I don't know about you, but that is something to shout about! God promises to get us through whatever circumstances we may face and we will see Him in the end! So now, you must just tell yourself you can make it, or even look to the people in the Bible or in real life that have gone through and are still here pushing forward. Remember what the ultimate reward is that awaits you!
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4 NLT
see also: 1 Peter 4:1, Acts 14:22, 2 Timothy 2:12, Philippians 3:10, 1 John 2:6, 2 Corinthians 1:5, and Romans 8:15