July 18 - Rejoice in Sufferings
We live in a world of sin and sufferings are commonplace occurrences. No matter how severe the suffering is, believers are to face it with all kinds of endurance. While the devil uses sufferings and persecutions to bring us down, to tempt us into sinning against God and to become hard in our hearts, God is using suffering to bring us character change and hope, resulting in rejoicing without shame. The same suffering may happen, but our responses to the suffering can make the difference. If we receive it from the hand of the devil with an attitude against God’s goodness, then we sin and the suffering becomes a stumbling block, causing us to lose hope. But if we receive it from the hand of God, we then see it as a trial. Should we overcome it with endurance, we receive spiritual growth and hope.
God has prepared us for the sufferings of the world. Jesus told His disciples that in the world, there were tribulations and they were to be prepared for them. Salvation actually prepares us for facing difficulties: we have been justified by faith, reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, thereby gaining access into the grace of God’s presence. Once we received God’s grace, we continue to stand in His grace. He is to help us and bless us, giving us a future and a hope. So we should be rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. With God’s presence and glory in our lives, we then can enter into the world of suffering and use it for our advantage.
The glory of God’s presence comes with the love of God, it comes as an unmerited gift poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who, also is a gift given to us. So our faith begins a journey, giving us hope and love from above. Faith, hope and love abide with us in this world, while love carries us to the next (1 Corinthians 13:13). With faith, we enter into sonship, being justified so that we can have access to God’s presence and grace. With such grace, we can have hope. This hope is being tested daily through sufferings and through sufferings our hope is strengthened due to our character change. During the whole process, the Holy Spirit keeps pouring the love of God in our hearts so that we do not doubt God’s goodness and power in our lives.
Abraham, the father of faith, believes that God gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. The power of the Father has raised Jesus from the dead. The love of God can be experienced through Christ who died for us on the cross (5:8). In the death and resurrection of Christ, God’s love and power are evident. He identifies with us in not only in suffering but also in the glory of the resurrection. There is hope as we follow the footsteps of Abraham, our spiritual father. Are you in some kind of suffering today? Go to God and access faith, hope and love from Him today. Rejoice in your sufferings because God is going to change you.
Ps 75:1-10 1 Chron 26:12-27:34 Rom 4:13-5:5 Prov 19:17