REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey, was first posted on July 30, 2014. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“When Suffering Comes Our Way . . .”
1 Peter 4:12-13
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
What does it mean here, the “Spirit of glory and of God rest on you”? From the context, it clearly means that the glory of God is revealed when we know how to suffer for righteousness. If suffering comes as a result of leading a sinful life, than this person is receiving what he deserves. There are people living and embracing unrighteousness, yet they get upset at God for their suffering. Instead of getting upset, they need to humble themselves and repent. But on the other hand, there is a special glory that comes upon a believer when suffering for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.
In oppressive countries today, thousands and thousands are suffering because they will not deny Christ. They are being persecuted for the simple reason of wanting to worship the Lord. People are being disowned for their faith. The Bible says that those who are suffering for Christ, the glory of God is upon them: There is no shame or condemnation, but a badge of honor, and there is rejoicing instead of disgrace.
This indeed is a sobering thought to many of us in the West who complain to God at the slightest inconvenience. So, let us be thankful while praying for those who are being persecuted right now for the sake of upholding the honorable name of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Merciful Lord, I lift up my heart to you in my suffering. No matter what happens, I will put my trust in you. Remember me, my Lord and Savior! Amen.
Bible Reading for Today:Jeremiah 34
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Questions to Consider
- Romans 8:28 says that God will work for the good for those who love him. How can you practically show that you love God in the crisis you are facing currently?
- How can God use the crisis in your life to prepare you for your calling and purpose?
- Instead of complaining, we can thank God for allowing trials in our lives for our own good, as well as not allowing something worse.
- There is nothing like crisis and trials to build character in us without which we aren’t likely to finish well.
Let’s stop listening to what the crisis in your life is “saying” to you. But spend some time listening to what God is saying to you.