A PROMISE YOU MAY NOT LIKE
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The promise of trials and suffering. Oh, what, you thought being a Christian would be a bed of roses? A cake walk? A perfect life? NOT.
Lets see what 1 Peter 1:6-8 says about trials.
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though, now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.."
Distressed, trials, tested by fire. Suffering. I love the way my Bible says it; if NECESSARY you have been distressed.... Why would it be necessary for me to suffer? What could I gain from that?
Verse 9 tells me; "...obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the SALVATION OF YOUR SOUL." Oh, O.K., if that's the prize, I'll suffer, if necessary.
I don't really call it suffering, I call it growing pains. God puts me and probably you, thru some things to "stretch" me and my faith. It can be a test. But if I keep my faith and my eyes focused on Jesus; oh how much relief it is when the suffering is gone for that round. I can be an over comer, and I can have learned and grown spiritually from the distress, trials and fire.
Go take a look at Acts 5:41 The apostles had just been flogged and ordered to keep their mouths shut about this Jesus guy and look what they did;
"So, they went on their way from the presence of the council, REJOICING that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name."
They thought it was a great honor to be flogged for the sake of Jesus Christ. Flogged; meaning beaten and whipped. WOW! I'm sure it wasn't just one punch or one crack of the whip either. These guys were hated just as Jesus was. So you know they suffered big time. Did they go out of the town and shut their mouths? Nope.
Verse 42 tells us; "..and EVERY DAY, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ." Wow, that takes guts. Not only did they keep doing it, they did it EVERY WHERE, EVERY DAY! Talk about persistence in your cause.....
All the Apostles suffered horrible, violent deaths, except John, he was exiled. But they kept preaching Jesus till their very last breath.
I pray for the courage to do that. I pray for that kind of suffering if necessary to be able to proclaim the word of God at any cost. I'll take the suffering because I know the reward is great and that's a promise!
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