"then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name..." - Acts 5:41
This past weekend, I preached Acts 5:12-42. One of the central themes in the books of Acts is suffering for obedience to Jesus. It's often hard to understand how suffering can be a gift from God, because we tend to think that God is supposed to fix everything and make us happy.
But I'd submit to you, that suffering is an act of grace by God. Throughout the entire Bible and history we see suffering. Many authors and singers have produced some of the greatest writings and songs as a result of suffering.
Suffering as a gift of Grace is given to produce the purest faith and strength. It leaves us in a place were we have nothing but faith and trust in a God, whom sovereignly rules and reigns.
I'll leave you with a song by Shane and Shane that embodies suffering as an act of Grace.