Gems out of the crucible!!

Verse for Today: Monday, November 14, 2011

1 Peter 5:10 – And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

When God’s children go through sufferings of various kinds, they often wonder why they suffer and why these sufferings do not end. For those who suffer, each moment seems to be long and needs special grace to endure it. Time seems to pass very slowly as the pain and agony they sustain increase. But in God’s administration of things, their sufferings are only for a short time. God oversees rules and overrules the sufferings of His children. Their sufferings are because of the sinful bodies they are in and the sinful environment they live in. Sometimes sufferings come as a consequence of our wrong decisions, omissions and commissions. At other times, we suffer when the enemy of our soul with his agents, the world and the flesh, trouble us. We also suffer because of our faith and the righteous stand we take on contemporary issues. Sufferings also come to us as we are tested by our Lord to increase our faith and to make us strong. But God intends it all to end in our spiritual good. When we suffer, it helps us to confess our sins and failures and become holier in our relationship with our Lord. It helps us to praise God for allowing us to go through sufferings for the sake of our faith. Sufferings increase our trust in the Lord as we cling on to Him to help us to go through it and come out victorious. We are reassured that our sufferings in this world are only for a short time. Our positive attitude to suffering makes it but for a short period as it renews our hope in the Lord. When we suffer for the sake of the Lord, in His will and for His cause, our sufferings become a privilege rather than an ordeal. As we go through it, the Lord speaks to us and often confirms to us the reasons why we suffer. But one thing is sure; our sufferings are only for a short time and are purposeful in God’s administration of things in our lives.

Dear reader, are you going through sufferings of some sort in your life today? It could be physical, emotional, financial or even social. But you can be sure about the fact that your Lord knows all about it and it is permitted in your life by Him. It is not a punishment, but a tool in your life to draw you closer to Him. Perhaps your greatest support in life is withdrawn from you without notice. It is possible that you are a prey to difficult diseases or disabilities. You might loose your job or financial stability because of turn of events around you. Your stand for Christ would have irritated your boss or even your neighbours who might be giving you a hard time. What is legitimately yours is probably taken away from you and the list might include your assets, job or position. But be encouraged that your Lord knows about it. Even when the enemy of your soul would have planted it in your life to destroy you, the Lord will use it to build you up. First of all, He gives you the grace to go through it without bitterness. Even when you do not know what benefit will accrue to you because of the suffering, you can praise God for it because He can work it together for your good. The Lord Jesus went through tests by the enemy without bitterness or irritation and He is your model as you go through it. Joseph, Peter and Paul suffered tremendously for the Lord, but they were never bitter and they never quit. Sufferings made them patient and mature in the Lord. Sufferings developed greater hope in them. They even rejoiced in sufferings and considered it a great privilege to suffer for the Lord. Our Lord has promised to restore us and to make us firm, strong and steadfast in our faith in Him as we go through sufferings. He gives us the grace to go through it and praise Him because it has pleased Him to use our lives for His glory through sufferings. So when we suffer, let us examine to see what we can learn from it and how we can use it build up our lives for the Lord. When we focus our attention on the Lord, He will turn our sufferings into praises for the impact it will have in our lives and how it can touch other lives. When the Lord wants to use our lives to bring glory to Him through sufferings, let us be willing to submit our suffering lives for His praise.

Romans 5:3 – …..but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Thought for Today
Suffering is the crucible which produces the strongest gems of faith and hope out of God’s children.

GEMS OUT OF THE CRUCIBLE!!
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