Pastor Stephen Dedman

Suffering For Christ’s Sake

‘But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. ‘
Acts 28:3

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to people who are doing God’s work? Sometimes we think just because we are on mission for God we should be immune to the sufferings and trials of this world.

On a mission trip Paul was shipwrecked and landed on the Island of Malta. Luke tells us that when they came ashore the islanders welcomed them with unusual kindness. Since they were cold and wet, they built a campfire.

Paul laid a bundle of sticks on the fire and a viper struck him on the hand. This is when we have to ask, why would God allow such a suffering? Wasn’t the shipwreck enough? Now a poisonous snake bite?

Some people might say that the devil is trying to interfere with God’s work. Or others might say that God is mad and causing havoc on His children. What’s interesting about this verse today is that it states why the viper bit him.

It says, because of the heat, the viper came out. The heat from the fire made the snake mad and aggressive. It wasn’t because of the devil, it was because of the natural causes of heat.

Let’s not forget that Paul shook off the snake and never swelled or got sick. Even though he was bitten by a viper, the islanders saw the power of God in Paul.

We may get sick or hurt from time to time. Viruses and germs may surround us. Natural disasters will occur. As Christians we are not immune to any of it. But we can trust the power of God to overcome our difficulties.

We pray for God to bless our endeavors. But because we encounter suffering, we shouldn’t be so quick to blame anyone or anything especially God. God only wants the best for us. Use the sufferIngs in your life to bring glory to God.


Lord, I pray that You bless my labor for Your kingdom. Help me to use and enjoy the gifts that You have given unto me. I will praise Your great name in the good times and the bad.