Peter addresses this subject by saying, “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth’; who, when he was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:19-23, NKJV).
The apostle Paul similarly commands, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). Finally, the Lord himself gives us this promise: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
What is your hardship? Is your marriage in turmoil? Is your job in crisis? Do you have a conflict with a relative, a landlord or a friend who has betrayed you?
We are to take hope. Just as Paul’s suffering never let up, neither did his revelation, his maturity, his deep faith and his settled peace. He said, “If I’m going to be a spiritual man — if I really want to please my Lord — then I can’t fight my circumstances. I’m going to hold on and never quit. Nothing on this earth can give me what I get from God’s Spirit every day in my trial. He’s making me a spiritual man.”
Paul’s life “breathed” with the Spirit of Christ. So it is with every truly spiritual person. The Holy Ghost pours forth out of that servant’s inner being the heavenly breezes of God. This person isn’t downcast; he doesn’t murmur or complain about his lot. He may be going through the trial of his life, but he’s still smiling because he knows God is at work in him, revealing his eternal glory.