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“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV)
Your sufferings are for Jesus.
Suffering is a part of everyone’s life, whether they believe in Jesus or not. Without Jesus, suffering is hopeless. But as a Christ-follower, our hope is in Jesus. We know the trials we suffer today, God will use for His glory.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Suffering for Jesus means having hope in the future. The last thing Satan wants is Jesus love spread into the world. When he has a chance to stop love, he’ll take it. Our suffering is compounded when we take our eyes off of Jesus and fall for the devil’s schemes. The closer we follow Jesus, the less we’ll fall for the devil’s ploys.
Anchor yourself in Jesus truth.
Negative emotions accompany suffering. As I talk about often, feelings lie. The Devil loves to gain a foothold in our lives through our anxieties, fear and depression. But Jesus refutes his efforts with His truth:
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:11, 14-17 NIV)
Write these verses on an index card; make them your screen saver on your phone. Read these words often, memorize them. In this passage you can find strength for any battle you’re facing. Truth grounds us, faith shields us, God protects us.
Our nation is suffering right now. Political upheavel and unrest is at a maximum. Finding the truth in today’s world is harder than every. News outlets slant to whatever side they favor. If the story doesn’t fit the narrative, it’s not covered. Therefore, we as people, don’t know what is true and what isn’t. But that’s ok, because God does. God knows who is lying, who isn’t. In His time, He will reveal the truth. In Him we trust, not man.
Suffering is part of life. In our trials, Jesus is with us. In Him, we rejoice.
Question of the Day:
How has suffering caused you to rejoice?