Verse of the day.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Satan was certainly blind to the big picture. That was the reason he took pride in instigating Jesus’ death. He had hoped that after the death of Jesus Christ, all about Him and His teachings would be put to death. However, it was just getting started because the resurrection gave rise to hope in the hearts of many – the hope of a future in Heaven, and also, the confidence that we will be partakers of the glory that will be revealed (1 Peter 5:1)
Why are we subject to these sufferings?
As we have come to learn, no normal person loves or looks forward to pain. However, Jesus was a recipient of much more pain than we can imagine – the pain of rejection and specifically the (spiritual) pain He suffered in bearing humanity’s sin in death. It is no surprise that Christians (His disciples) have become partakers in His sufferings.
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Sometimes, sufferings come as obstacles to dissuade us from following God (Job 1:11). Other times, these sufferings bring us closer to God (Jonah 1:17) because in our moments of chaos, there is that still voice that wants to speak to us. In some situations, some of our brothers in the faith have died for the love of God. Stephen (Acts 7:54-60) was stoned to death for the gospel of Christ. Even in recent times, there have been several individuals persecuted and killed for the sake of Christ. These sufferings for the sake of God abound. There is no hiding from these things.
We are not alone!
Are we alone in our challenges? NO. The promise is clear. ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Hebrews 13:5). All faithful followers of God will definitely be released from suffering. Stephen, John the Baptist and a lot of others were released by death into a life where there is no suffering (Revelation 21:4).
The big picture is our home in Heaven. This world that we live in is not our home. Our aim is to achieve the big picture – make it to heaven and enjoy the home that Christ has made for us. The suffering is for a while. It is going to end because God has a sure end to it with a promise to strengthen and settle us. Key into this picture and strap on because whatever comes your way, God knows you can handle it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
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I see the big picture. I am a soldier of Christ. I am strengthened by God to live for Him.
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