The Berean Expositor
Volume 27 - Page 193 of 212
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Words of Comfort.
Suffering is but for a season (I Pet. 1: 6).
pp. 181, 182
While we rejoice in the glorious revelation of God's love that teaches us concerning
the fullness of Christ and our acceptance in Him, and while we may be persuaded that
neither death nor life shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord, there are times when circumstances are such that even words of comfort
are not despised, but, rather, eagerly received. In the general body of our witness the
reader must expect to find much that will be the strong meat of the Word, but in these
smaller articles we seek to pass on those words of comfort that are found scattered
throughout the pages of Scripture and which are the preserve of no one particular
In his epistles the apostle Peter has much to say of suffering, and while some of his
statements have particular reference to "the dispersion scattered abroad", there are also
some which constitute mitigation of misery, palliatives in persecution, balm in Gilead,
available for every one of the redeemed, whatever may be his hope and calling. The first
word of comfort that Peter gives is found in I Pet. 1: 6 where he says:
"Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations."
For a season.--What a difference it makes to us in sorrow or distress to be able to
look beyond the present darkness, to the future dawn that we know must come. Manifold
as temptations may be, they are limited, they are "but for a season". The R.V. translates
the passage: "For a little while"; Weymouth gives: "For a short time", and Moffatt:
"For the passing moment". Primarily the word means "few" as contrasted with "many".
It is used of number, "Few there be that find it" (Matt. 7: 14); of place, "A little farther
thence" (Mark 1: 19); of time, "It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and
then vanisheth away" (James 4: 14); of quantity, "Use a little wine" (I Tim. 5: 23); and
of magnitude, "No small stir" (Acts 12: 18).
It is evident that the Spirit of God would minister comfort to all that are in distress for
Christ's sake, by drawing their attention to its comparative brevity. We say "comparative
brevity" advisedly, for we all know that some hours of our experience have seemed like
centuries, and we do well to let this relative element work for good as well as for ill.
Look at the two points of view, and their effect upon mind and heart, that dominate the
words that follow. One child of God under the pressure of his suffering cries out:
I see no hope of alleviation, the long lone road stretches out in front of me, on and on
to the utmost limit of human endurance. I am doomed to suffer for the remainder of my