Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Verse for Today
Romans 5:3 & 4: - Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Sufferings of various kinds are part of a life dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the experience on the pathway to the cross which Jesus undertook for us. He was a Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief throughout His earthly life. There was no place for the Prince of Heaven to be born and finally He had to adjust with a manger. He enjoyed no comfort in life whatsoever. The foxes had holes and the birds of the air had nests, but He had no place to even lay His head. This was what He offered to His disciples. There was none to sympathize with Him while He stood before the High Priest, Herod and twice before Pilate. No one walked boldly with Him as He walked the Calvary Road with the heavy rugged cross. There was no one, not even Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, to intervene for Him when He was brutally ill-treated and cruelly dealt with. No one was with Him when the King of Kings was mocked with a scarlet robe, crown of thorns and staff and when they hailed to the king! He told the disciples that they would also be treated just as He was treated by the world which is controlled by His enemy. When Jesus spoke to the disciples about sufferings, He had a higher purpose in it for them, because it would develop in them great character demonstrated through perseverance. They will learn from their sufferings to be patient because suffering is God's vehicle to bring in them the Christ-like character and behavior. The Bible says that when sufferings come our way, we ought to rejoice and be exceedingly happy. Joy in the midst of sufferings is the true character of a Christian disciple. Paul and Silas practiced it by singing while suffering in the Philippian jail.

Dear reader, are you going through some dose of suffering today? Are these increasing day by day? Perhaps the Lord has been lately turning the thermostat higher and higher. But remember, gold does not fear the fire. The more it is in the fire, the purer it becomes. The heat you are going through today is to bring in more patience and Christ-like humility in you. It will also renew your hope that one of these days, you will be transformed into His likeness. Any process to bring out a new product is painful to the materials, and so is the case with you. In His grace, the Lord is allowing you to go through the process of pain and sufferings so that you will be more and more like Him. So there should never be any temptation for you to murmur or complain about your present situation. What you are going through is ordained of the Lord with the purpose of molding you to be like Him. It may be you are forsaken and rejected by dear ones or you suffer from financial or job loss, or perhaps you are going through physical pain and sickness. It is also possible that your words are misrepresented and misinterpreted and you are maligned with gossip. Perhaps all your dear ones keep away from you like the experience of King David when he lost his throne and kingdom. But even during these painful experiences, the Lord is with you and He is holding you close to Himself. He carries you on His shoulders and wipes your tears. When you see the the suffering Savior on the cross, it will strengthen you to trust in Him to keep going. The Lord is less concerned with the process, but more with the end product which is perseverance, character and hope in you with a spirit of rejoicing to make you sing Hallelujah.

Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Thought for Today
Suffering is the furnace through which God produces the purest golden character in a child of God.
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