The School of Suffering

 The following is an extract from a talk given by the  Romanian pastor Joseph Tson

 1 Peter 2:5

 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a  spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer  spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus  Christ.

 Now what is involved in suffering? What does suffering  mean? As we go further in Scripture, we find three  deep meanings. When I try to arrange them in logical  sequence, I see that they are actually three steps  toward Christian maturity. As we examine them, please  try to locate yourself-just where are you in these  stages.

      First of all, suffering is for our perfection. Peter  speaks of this aspect of suffering. I especially  appreciate his words in I Peter 2:5. He is speaking  about suffering and in that context mentions that we  are living stones, to be built one day into a spiritual  temple. What does he mean by that? He has in mind  Solomon's temple.

      Now Solomon had a fantastic team of architects  who calculated every stone needed in that building and  planned for each one individually. He had 80,000  stonecutters up in the mountains in the quarry, cutting  and polishing every stone as it was planned. They were  all brought to the building site and one day the signal  was given 'Build!' And the temple was assembled.

      We are specifically told that there was no noise of  chisel or hammer. Why does the Old Testament    emphasize that? Because only then can we understand  what Peter says. We, God's saints from all ages, are  living stones, which one day are going to be built into a  spiritual temple. What a beauty that building will be- with God inside! And as we are assembled together,  there will be no noise of chisel or hammer. Why?  Because the chipping off will have been done on this  planet. Here God has His stonecutters, His hammers  and His chisels working on us for that day when we will  be perfected.


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