‘If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.’ 1 Peter 2:20 NIV
Many of the people we admire in Scripture were badly treated. And God permitted it to happen. Think about Daniel being thrown to the lions, and Joseph being tossed into prison. They did nothing to deserve it. The Bible says: ‘If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.’ (1 Peter 2:20–21 NIV) Notice, you are ‘called’ to overcome difficulties. There’s purpose in your pain. And nothing can touch you without first passing through your loving heavenly Father’s hands. He anticipated it all, and everything you’re going through right now is preparing you to serve Him more effectively.
Paul said, ‘The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me… But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.’ (2 Timothy 4:16–17 NLT) Paul didn’t see it as simply enduring, he saw it as advancing! So be encouraged; you’re growing in grace [becoming more gracious] and in the knowledge of the Lord (see 2 Peter 3:18). You’re in the preparation process. ‘But I don’t understand,’ you say. Then listen to Joni Erickson Tada: ‘If God’s mind was small enough for me to understand, He wouldn’t be God. Sometimes I can’t stand being in this wheelchair, but there God’s grace takes over. Even in my handicap, God has a plan and purpose for my life.’ Whether God takes you out of the situation or brings you through it, trust Him. He’s working for your good and His glory.
SoulFood: Is 45–48, Jn 8:21–30, Ps 86, Prov 28:21–24
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018
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