What form is your suffering? (Is it physical, spiritual, or emotional pain? What agony, distress, misery, loss, affliction are you enduring?)
The Scripture tells us that our suffering will produce perseverance (resolve, insistence, urgency, determination, doggedness, steadfastness). Where does your dogged determination lie? Where are you expending your energy?
Perseverance produces character (a good moral fiber, a sure foundation, an admirable nature).
Is your foundation firm? Are you building your life on Christ and God's Word?
Character brings hope (not a hope so, wish for, chance-kind-of-hope, but a hope that expects, anticipates—looks forward to—believing and trusting in the One who promises to order our lives and determine our steps). Where does your hope lie? Are you anticipating that God will work his plan in your life?
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a
future” Jeremiah 29:11. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his
steps" Proverbs 16:9.
Do you look to God to determine your steps? Are you seeking his plan?
. . . And hope does not disappoint us . . .
We can be satisfied, because having peace with God means we can rest in him, he promises to never leave us or forsake us
(see Hebrews 13:5).
". . . Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his
steps" 1 Peter 2:21.
“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his
teacher” Luke 6:40.
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and
steadfast" 1 Peter 5:10.
God doesn't promise his children pain-free lives. Rather he uses the circumstances of our lives—our suffering, losses, agony and afflictions, to produce perseverance—determined doggedness, to develop our character—establishing a sure foundation and strong moral fiber, which God desires, so that we become like Jesus, fully trained and satisfied in him, this is cause for rejoicing!
Copyright 2011 - S.A. Keith
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