Believers would greatly benefit from looking at their suffering from an eternal perspective. “Dear friends, don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange unusual thing that is going to happen to you. Instead, be really glad- because these trials will make you partners with Christ in His suffering, and afterwards you will have the wonderful joy of sharing His glory.” 1 Pet 4:12 The true goal of every believer’s life should be to surrender to Christ’s leadership. Suffering pushes us toward this challenging goal.
We each have a valuable contribution to make to our world. Our best gifts come through what we have suffered. “It is by those who have suffered that the world has been advanced.” Leo Tolstoy God grows strong, transformed, and mature believers from the soil of suffering. However, we may ask, is the suffering worth it all? Friends, our God is the Giving God. His shovel is bigger than ours, His treasures far beyond the telling. “And since we are His children, we will share His treasures- for all God gives to His Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.” Rom 8:17 How amazing that all believers are heirs of Christ with the blessing of inheriting our Father’s estate. Let’s take a look at just some of the treasures of our inheritance. These include a renewed heart, protection from Satan’s destructive plans, and the fulfillment of God’s incredible promises. We also experience the wise leadership of Christ our Lord, adoption into God’s own family, and the security that we will never be separated from His passionate love. One day we will enjoy a new heaven and a new earth, eternal life with the Father in paradise, and a perfect body. The Holy Spirit inside the believer guarantees that this full inheritance is ours. As we understand and value the treasures that await us we are better able to take the suffering that comes our way. Our sorrow isn’t wasted. It hollows out chambers for joy to abide when it is gone. Suffering enlarges our capacity to enjoy life. Our present joys are sweeter for past pain. What we suffer has formed within us a personal life message. It is our gift to the world.
Dear friends, our spiritual eyes must see beyond today. Christ’s glory rests upon us, bringing greatness from our suffering. Only Christ can bring sweetness out of bitterness, strength out of weakness, and triumph out of tragedy. He will tenderly comfort each suffering child. Let Jesus make your life a special gift to all.
Click here to read about a personal experience of physical suffering and turning to God.
Click here to read how to comfort those who are suffering.
Click here to read about celebrating God in the midst of tragedy.
Every human shares a common desire to be reasonably intelligent and able to make good decisions. As believers we find this much needed wisdom in God. “His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding.” Prov 9:10 James chapter three explains the difference between true and false wisdom. The true wisdom we seek is not found in how much knowledge we have but how we daily live our life. In other words, wisdom is not the possession of knowledge but the proper application to the struggles of life. This passage challenges our faith, asking us to examine what kind of wisdom we actually possess.
“If a man is wise and understanding, he will demonstrate it by his good conduct coupled with the humble spirit that comes from wisdom. Therefore, all who are truly wise will have the hallmark of genuine humility.” William MacDonald Humility makes all the difference in whether we avoid our troubles or whether we receive God’s help to stand strong through life’s storms. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6 So we find that a man who is truly wise is also genuinely humble. This is a person who doesn’t put on airs. He doesn’t take his mindset from the world. He understands the spirit is of greater importance than the body. His life demonstrates both moral and spiritual cleanness. He is peaceable and will not seek to justify himself. He is gentle and tenderhearted. He is easy to reason with, willing to see the other person’s point of view. He is always ready to forgive those who have wronged him. And most of all he seeks wisdom from Christ the true foundation of wisdom. “For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom, knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.” Prov 9:10
Genuine humility will put the heart at peace. Instead of contending we can trust in God’s ability and power to make things right. “Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in the deep sea of calmness when all around and above is trouble.” Andrew Murray O, how we try to educate ourselves, striving for man’s wisdom. Friends, may we not overlook the obvious answer to human intelligence. “How can man be wise? The only way to begin is by reverence for God.” Ps 111:10 In a world that is rapidly rejecting God may we humbly seek true wisdom.
Click here to read another blogger’s thoughts on knowledge.
What is your aim in life? Do you work to become successful in your vocation, strive to earn enough money to live “the good life”, or plan for a comfortable retirement? Perhaps you desire a great group of friends, having fun, and being healthy. Maybe you dream of traveling the world or continuing your education. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with most of these aspirations. However, as a believer in Jesus Christ we have a goal that stands above all others. II Cor 5:9 says it simply. “So our aim is to please Him always in everything we do…” Christ’s death on the cross has made a decisive difference in everything we think, say, and do. “He died for all so that all who live- having received eternal life from Him- might live no longer for themselves, to please themselves, but to spend their lives pleasing Christ who died and rose again for them.” II Cor 5:15
Jesus is now the great love of our life. He is not only the Great God and Ruler over all people and nations but also He is our Hero and the perfect role model. We are delighted by His love and amazed by His kindness, patience, and compassion towards us. We honor and celebrate His life best by becoming like Him. As Creator He gives us our next breath and is the Giver of every good and perfect gift we have ever received. We learn to thank Him continually because He is the supplier of everything we need. When we are anxious and cannot help ourselves Jesus becomes our stabilizer and takes us to a place of rest and peace. We were born into the world then born again to show the world Jesus and what is truly important in life. “We are Christ’s ambassadors, God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ Himself were here pleading with you, receive the love He offers you- be reconciled to God.” II Cor 5:20
Our life is not about ourselves anymore. We leave our happiness, plans, and future in His capable hands. In exchange for this blessed leadership we are free to focus on others. We are accountable for a life well-lived or selfishly lived. “Each of us will receive whatever he deserves for the good or bad things he has done in his earthly body.” II Cor 5:10 We have only one life. What will be your goals? In the end you will decide how to live. As believers we continually press on to reach the highest goal, to live lives that will please Jesus Christ.
What a wonder that through Jesus Christ we can discover a delightfully different world. It is a world of unconditional love and acceptance. In choosing Christ we are given a chance to begin again. Our slate has been wiped clean. “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun.” 2 Cor 5:17 Jesus has a purpose for this incredibly rewarding life. “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” John 10:10 He gives us a rich, satisfying life, brimming with challenges that He uses for good. In order to experience this redeemed life we are given a new heart and a spirit which once dead, now lives. “I will give you one heart and a new spirit; I will take from you your hearts of stone and give you tender hearts of love for God.” Ezk 11:19
Dear believers, do not forget the excitement and passion of living for Jesus. The possibilities within the abundant Christian life are endless. Go ahead and ask your Father for treats and prizes from His vast storehouse of Heaven’s gifts. If you could look into His treasure room you would see presents everywhere with your name on them. “Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and your cup of joy will overflow.” John 16:24 Let us remember that with the God of the universe the impossible is always possible. “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not.” Jer 33:3Christianity is not religion rather a person being re-created and entirely changed. As it says in Romans 7:6 “…now you can really serve God, not in the old way, mechanically obeying a set of rules, but in the new way, (with all your hearts and minds).” The best part of all is that a Christian’s life is founded on God’s ability and power not our own. He enables us to live with purpose and wants us to immensely enjoy the journey.
Will you join me in an enthusiastic acknowledgement of His greatness? “Great is his faithfulness, his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.” Lam 3:23 He willingly gives us from His ability and equips us for every need of life. We can start each day with Jesus lifting us from the ordinary to His extraordinary life. How blessed is the life of a changed believer. Are you ready to do your happy dance? One, two, three, begin!
Click here to read another bloggers thoughts on the grace of God.
Click here to read a challenge to be ambassador’s for Christ.