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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