Steve Hill / 29 JAN 2015 –
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. – 1 Peter 4:12,13, NIV
Everyone will face some pain in this life. How we face it makes all the difference in how we get through it. Over 200 years ago, the English preacher John Fletcher gave a fresh perspective on how we can face such difficulties. It still applies to all who have placed their lives in the hands of Jesus.
Be an example to all of how to deny yourself and take up your cross daily. Let them see that you have no interest in any pleasure that doesn’t bring you nearer to God. Disregard any pain as irrelevant which does bring you closer to Him. Show that you simply aim to please Him, whether by doing or suffering.
The best soldiers are sent on the most difficult and dangerous expeditions. If you are such a soldier of Jesus Christ, you will probably be called to drink deepest of His cup and carry the heaviest burdens. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul, “unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). God grants opposition or reproach as a fresh token of His love. Will you disown the Giver, or spurn His gift, by considering it to be a misfortune?
Remember, dear friend, God would not allow you to go through a difficult time if He didn’t think you could handle it. According to His promise, it will turn out for the good.
~ Genesis 4; Matthew 4; Ezra 4; Acts 4
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