Season of Suffering: A glimpse into the journey of Paul (and us)
I've been doing Beth Moore'sPaul 90 Days on His Journey of Faith devotional every morning (OK, so almost every morning) and today's was entitled Season of Suffering. It doesn't sound very enticing or like something that we want to read about, but it is truth. Paul suffered for Christ more than any one person should be allowed to, but he was glad to fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. He was beaten, shipwrecked, lost at sea, stoned, hated by Jews and Gentiles alike, hungry, thirsty, cold, alone...and so on. (2 Corinthians 11: 23-27)
He got it. Paul grasped what it was to really live for Christ. He knew what was on this earth was temporal and he was living, striving for his heavenly reward. He knew that when he got to see his Jesus face to face that every single trial would be worth it. Just read his writings. He shows us his heart over and over. He was a willing servant. He took what came to him with grace and perseverance.
Don't you want the same to be said of you? I know I do. Do I want trials or sufferings? NO! I like life to be easy and carefree. Is it? Absolutely not! I can make a list right now of all that is 'wrong' with my life and it would be insignificant compared to many of yours. But we have been called, as Christians, to live our life in faith and obedience to Him. If He puts a trial in our life it is for our own good. To refine us as pure gold is refined by fire. To draw us closer to Him and let us know that we are 100% dependent on Him and Him alone.
So if you are in the midst of a trial today remember that He is on His throne. You are His child and He loves you. Nothing that has come to you that hasn't passed through His hands first. He is giving you the opportunity to show your faith in Him. He is allowing you the privilege of seeing Him 'work all things for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.' (Romans 8:28)
Just rest...'be still and know that I am God.' (Psalm 46:10)