Are You Prepared?

This Jesus spake, signifying by what death he should glorify God.
And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, follow me

John 21:19

Some people look on suffering as an annoyance rather than a motivator. The Book of 1Peter challenges our thinking in this area by declaring,Therefore, as Christ hath suffered for us His body, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: So that you may give the
rest of your lives in the flesh, not to the desires of men, but to the urpose of God

The Book of Psalm reminds us that, many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivereth him from them all [Ps 34:19] Note, the Psalmist did not say, that God keeps His children from ever experiencing pain and difficulty. Nor, did he say that, if you pray hard enough, claim things as you wish them to be, go to "church" on a regular basis, and try to be good to other people, you will be blessed with a carefree life.

No, indeed he did not! Instead he states that as believers we are going to see many and various difficulties. Yet in spite of this promise we can take this very thing to heart, and that is, God Himself will sustain, protect, preserve, and defend us through each and every situation that He allows to enter our lives. This is exactly what the word "delivereth" means. Concerning difficulties Peter writes, the end of all things is near: so be serious in your behaviour and keep on the watch so that you may pray. And then he goes on to say, My dear brothers, do not be surprised, as if it was something strange, if your faith is tested as by fire. So why is it then, especially as God's children, that we can expect to undergo difficulties and hardships?

The first and most obvious reason is that we live in a fallen and sinful world. As a result the Book of Corinthians reminds us, that out outward man is perishing on a daily basis. It is almost as if we have been genetically engineered to self-destruct and fall apart. We get older and our bodies begin to fail us. This has to be one of the biggest insults to mankind. In spite of all our knowledge and sciencitific advancements, we are still subjected to a most humiliating and degrading process we label death.

But God in His infinite mercy and love has planned it to be taken as such; that He may get our attention and that out of desperation we would cry out to Him for our deliverance. I think it was C.S. Lewis who said that, pain is the megaphone God uses to get our attention.

Yet in spite of this it was Paul who said, my joy knows no limits in my suffering. David also said concerning this subject, It was good that I had been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes. The reason why these men could speak with such assurance in the midst of great testing is because they learned through personal experience that there was some greater value to be found in them all. I am here to tell you also, that this has been true concerning my struggles and trials.

There are no two ways about it, as surely as we have been born into this world, we will encounter great difficulty. Because of this we can expect to face great opposition from one of our most formidable enemies, the devil. Make no mistake about it, it is he who is out to do us great harm. The devil is so cunning in his campaign against us that the Scriptures warns us to, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8) The devil, the thief and robber that he is, would love nothing better than to see us defeated and destroyed. Like Peter, his desire is that he be allowed to get his paws on us that he "might sift us as wheat" (Luke 22:31)

But what the devil means for our harm, God can turn it to our good, provided that we truly love Him, and seek to do His will. Another reason why we will undergo hardships is due to our allegiance to the LORD. For no sooner will we set our hearts and minds to do the will of the LORD, but that the world, our friends, and at times family members will turn against us.

In fact, the Bible tell us that, they are wondering that you no longer go with them in this violent wasting of life, and are saying evil things of you (1Peter 4:4BBE) And then Jesus testifies to this truth as He forewarns us, if you are hated by the world, keep in mind that I was hated by the world before you (John 15:18)

What a privilege it is for us to suffer in like manner as did our Saviour. The very thought of it should move our hearts in worship of Him. At this point I can't help but to think of Peter who according to the early writers, felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master, and was therefore, at his own request, crucified with his head downward. {selected - Smiths Bible Dictionary}

And finally we can expect to face suffering and difficulties for the simple fact that this is the method by which God has chosen to perfect us. We read in the Epistles, And after you have undergone pain for a little time, the God of all grace who has given you a part in his eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will himself give you strength and support, and make you complete in every good thing; (1Peter 5:10 BBE)

Down through the ages it appears those who have acquired any level of maturity have done so by having been led into what the LORD calls, the fiery furnace of affliction. Know this, when Christ returns He is coming back for a chaste bride, and not for a bunch of over-fed, carnally minded, laid-back, and entertained children. Ephesians 5:27 say's it this way, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. God is in the process of preparing for himself mature sons and daughters whose delight it is to do theirs Fathers bidding. Yes, Suffering is inevitable and at times unpredictable, but you can be prepared for it by setting your mind and hearts on the things that are above. Are You Prepared?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who through his great mercy has given us a new birth by the and a living hope coming again of Jesus Christ from the dead, And a heritage fair, holy and for ever new, waiting in heaven for you, Who, by the power of God are kept, through faith, for that salvation, which will be seen at the last day.

You have cause for great joy in this, though it may have been necessary for you to be troubled for a little time, being tested in all sorts of ways, So that the true metal of your faith, being of much greater value than gold (which, though it comes to an end, is tested by fire), may come to light in praise and glory and honour, at the revelation of Jesus Christ: To whom your love is given, though you have not seen him; and the faith which you have in him, though you do not see him now, gives you joy greater than words and full of glory


May God grant you His peace 
If I can be of any assistance
please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

Brother Dan

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