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Suffering Reveals Glory

Daily Reading:  1 Peter 4-5

 

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4.13)

 

Devotional Thought: In 1 Peter 4,  Peter returns to his main point of the letter: Christian suffering.  And, he stands our understanding of suffering on its head.

 

Peter uses "Christ's sufferings" to signify the torture and death of Jesus on the cross: the price paid for the redemption of humanity from the penalty and power of sin.  That gives a whole new perspective on Christian suffering.  It is not in vain!  It is part and parcel of the sacrifice of Jesus!  In suffering we become part of God’s plan of redemption.  So, we do not despair in suffering, complain about suffering, or believe that suffering is a sign of judgment.  We do not even run from suffering!  We rejoice in suffering! 

 

Paul said that he rejoiced in his sufferings because in them he was "filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Colossians 1.24).  He wrote to Timothy that he endured his suffering "for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2.10).  The Apostle also challenged the Corinthians to see suffering differently: "as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort " (2 Corinthians 1.5-6)

 

So, when you suffer, don’t despair in self-pity or self-incrimination.  Instead, look for the redemptive purpose in your suffering, and rejoice that one day your suffering will turn to an overflowing joy when his glorious purpose is revealed!

 

Prayer: Lord, it is hard to rejoice in suffering, but help me to have the eternal perspective that we find in the life of Christ and in the Bible.  Reveal your glory to me in and through my suffering.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 57:6-11

6 They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah

7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!

8 Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!

9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.

10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

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