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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How to Remain Faithful When Suffering

In review of 1 Peter 4:19 it says, “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (NIV).

Bottom Line:
When in trouble, continue to be faithful to God and continue to do good.

What this means to me:
When I find myself in trouble or suffering, I should commit myself to being faithful to God, my creator. More importantly I need to continue to do good.

Today’s verse reminds me to not be surprised at the trials I go through, as if it was unusual. Instead, be very glad, because these make me a partner with Christ in his suffering.  If I'm insulted because I bear his name or be associated with him, I will be blessed. It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name. So If I'm suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust my life to the God who created me, for he will never fail me. His Word tells me that Christ will send his Spirit to strengthen those who are persecuted for their faith. God's plan for my life may include pain and hardship. When trouble comes, don't be surprised.

God’s Word counsels that I trust God, whether it be in good or bad times, during sunny or cloudy skies, when I have lots of money and when I have little. Trust works like this: (1) Trust overcomes fear. Genuine trust in God says, "Whatever mess I'm in, my heavenly father will lead me. (2) Trust overcomes depression. No matter how overwhelming the situation or how low it makes me feel, God can draw me back to the light. (3) Trust overcomes hate. When careless or cruel people hurt me, sometimes irreparably, I can hate forever or I can trust God, but I can't do both. God is there to steady even the worst situation, always with a promise, always with hope. Commit my life to him for safekeeping and rely on Him when I face my worst circumstance.

There are people out there who say God wants everybody to be a millionaire. There are some people who think following God is like having a golden ticket that guarantees you’ll be a millionaire, you’ll never get cancer, and you won’t have any problems in your life.

But the Bible says sometimes suffering is God’s will for your life. Why? Because it makes you more like Jesus. It deepens my faith. It brings me rewards in Heaven. It builds my character. It teaches me to worship instead of worry.

There are several kinds of suffering in the world. Common suffering is suffering that’s universal — it doesn’t matter if you’re Baptist or Buddhist or Muslim or atheist or whatever. Everybody suffers certain things. When a hurricane comes into town, it doesn’t just pick on Christians. There is suffering in the world that we all share in common.

The second kind of suffering is carnal suffering. That’s suffering I bring on myself from my own sin. If I choose to live an immoral life, one consequence could be a sexually transmitted disease. My choices led to that result, so it’s my fault. It’s not God’s fault. It’s not anybody else’s fault. Or if I spend more money than I make and go into debt and face bankruptcy, that’s my fault, too. I suffer because of my sin and bad decisions.

Not all suffering is from sin. The Bible says sometimes suffering is according to the will of God, because God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:19, “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (NIV).

No matter what arrows are thrown at me, no matter what I suffer in this life because of my faith, God wants me to remain faithful to him and keep on doing good to others. It’s not easy to do, it requires faith. ]God is guiding me to becoming more like Jesus.