PROOFING YOUR WALK
I've got good news for you and I've got good news for you. I'll give you the good news first. God wants to perfect, strengthen, settle, and establish you (1 Peter 5:10). And now I give you the good news. God is going to achieve this goal through suffering.Wait just one minute Dan! Didn't you mean to say; "Now I give you the bad news? I mean, what's so good about suffering? No, I meant what I said, GOOD NEWS. The good news in all of this is that God can take these things and use them both for our good but more importantly for His glory.
do I mean by suffering? Well Romans 8 gives us
a list of a few of the things that fall into this category. Included is,"tribulation,
distress, persecution, distress, peril…"
Since God is above all and over all He sees the eternal aspect of things. And because He has eternity in mind when it comes to suffering He has arranged life in such a way that it is impossible for us to escape what He has predetermined for us to face.
Jesus tells us, in John 16:33,"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." And in Jesus' Priestly prayer He makes mention of the fact, "They (that's you and I) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" John 17:16
And there you have it. A lot of the difficulties that you and I are called upon to face are a direct result of our status here in the world. What is that status you ask? Psalm 39:12, Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
One thing is true. If the world hated our LORD and went out of its way to persecute Him, do you think they will treat us any differently? In fact we read in 2 Tim. 3:12,Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. We are also reminded in 1 Peter 2:21, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: "
Yes, it is by God's design and the world's natural response to us as "STRANGERS and ALIENS" that we will encounter hardships. Yet in spite of the difficult challenge we have before us God implores us in 1 Peter 4:12 to have the following attitude. "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.