Monday, November 12, 2012

260 in 2012 DEVOS - Day 226 - 1 Peter 4: Living & Suffering

Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” Trials, persecution & suffering will always be a part of our lives. It’s HOW we face them that makes the difference. In the first 6 verses, Peter describes how a radically transformed life will impact others. Having a Christ-like attitude, not living for ourselves but instead living for God will not only baffle them (“they think it strange”) but also cause them to “heap abuse on you.” Yeah – he’s saying these things are to be expected, but take heart, Jesus has overcome the world! In the midst of tough times, we are to “be clear minded and self-controlled so that we can pray, love each other deeply, offer hospitality to one another without grumbling and use whatever gift we have received to serve others…” Why? “So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” Nothing is better, when we are suffering, than to know others are in it with us! Finally, Peter once again reminds us that suffering should not surprise us. And here’s the attitude we are to have “rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed, praise God that you bear His name…… So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” SO WHAT?! *What are you facing right now that is just plain not fun? How are you handling it? Why not take some time right now and ask God to help you put into practice the attitudes listed in this chapter?! *Ever feel like you’re doing all the right things but suffering even more? The believers Peter was writing to of his day must have felt the same way because he told them to “commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” In spite of the temporary, earthly results, be encouraged, you’re doing the right thing! *Do you feel alone in your suffering? That’s no fun! Hey, the Castle Rock Freund’s have seen a lot of changes lately and have felt pretty alone at times. Maybe this is how you’re feeling. Let me encourage you not to slouch into “loneliness pity” but instead to seek out a close friend or two who will pray with you through these times. You will be blessed if you do!

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