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November 30 | 1 Peter 4:8-13


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Trouble, Expect It and Rejoice In It

by Judy Webb


"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12)


Suffering partners us with Christ. Do these words comfort us as we face major troubles in life? At first blush I would respond with an emphatic, “No!” It might surprise you to hear me say, “well it should." Let me explain. Almost thirteen years ago I sat in the ER with my husband. We had just closed on our retirement home in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and were excited to begin the three-year countdown to moving into our dream home. After waiting through hours of testing, we received the diagnosis…terminal…three months or less. Can you relate? Have you had a severe trial put in your path that took your breath away? Most likely, but if not, there will be one someday. Scripture tells us not to be surprised. Shocked maybe, but not surprised. How can we expect anything different from what Christ experienced?


When he shared with the disciples that He would suffer and die, they protested, preferring to believe Jesus would be with them forever. Their hearts were breaking just hearing these words from Jesus, much like ours do at the word "terminal."


This season Dave and I were entering would refine and define our faith. The words from James 1:2-3 jumped from the page of my Bible. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” I must admit, it took a while to consider it pure joy.


It is still a challenge to look forward to suffering as Christ did. I realize that suffering partners us with Christ. If we are to live with Him, we can rejoice in suffering and give all the glory to God. Acts 14:22 teaches us: we must go through many hardships; John 16:33 tells us that in this world we will have troubles, but then 2 Corinthians says, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.


PRAYER

Father God, this is a difficult passage to embrace, but once we do, it makes so much sense. Give us the faith and desire to travel the road laid out before us, the road you walked first. Amen.





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3 Comments


What a blessing this devotion is! When you are in the middle of the suffering, it is often challenging to see the what and the why. You pray and pray and don't feel as though you are getting answers. Then the discouragement sets in and sometimes you want to give up on continuing to pray. BUT God is with us through every single step, every single question, every single suffering. He NEVER leaves us. Then along comes this devotion to smack us between the eyes to remind us that Jesus suffered. How could we foget?! It is why God sent him: to preach, teach, expand the kingdom of God, and suffer. Suffer for us. It is because of his suffering…

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Judy Webb
Judy Webb
Nov 30, 2023

Praying for you Chuck.

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chuckcoleman25
Nov 30, 2023

Perfect scriptures for what I am facing today. Thanks!

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