Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 4, 2020
It is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
The hope of the Christian is the gift of perfect rest in the presence of God. As countless hymns of old have sung, we long for a day in which our earthly toil and tribulation will cease and we will know and share in the joy of our master forever (Matthew 25:23). Yet contained in this promise is a truth that countless generations have known and received as a given, which we struggle to accept or acknowledge, namely, that it is normal and expected for our earthly journey to be defined by adversity and struggle.
Our modern world has given us countless creature comforts, many of which I am deeply grateful for, from air conditioning in the summer to video calls which allow me to catch up with dear friends and family around the country. Yet at times I fear our technological advances have become so sophisticated, so good at providing momentary comfort and relief, that we are blinded to the true nature of the world around us.
It is impossible to read the New Testament and miss the call to faithful endurance in the face of suffering. Difficulty in this life is seen as a given, yet our response to these trials lies fully within our own control. How do you respond when you are pressed and stretched? As a friend of mine often says, “What comes out when you’re squeezed?”
“Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:4).
Undoubtedly at some point in recent memory, if not this very moment, you have felt the weight of the world and the effects of sin and death on our relationships, our bodies, and on creation itself. If our hearts and minds are rooted in the story of Scripture, this brokenness will not come as a surprise or catch us off guard. Instead, we will receive our trials as a training ground for heaven and an opportunity to be shaped evermore into the likeness of Christ.
Our Lord Jesus promises to give us rest when he returns in glory, and while in his mercy we receive a taste of that perfect rest in this life, we must also bear with courage and endurance the sorrows and sufferings of this life, trusting that they are preparing us for our eternal home, just as Jesus is at work preparing a place for us (John 14:3).
Father, help us to receive pain and suffering in this life as a training ground for holiness, and keep our eyes set upon the hope and joy of your coming kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Instead of allowing your circumstances to crush and defeat you, how can you, in the power of the Spirit, endure them with joy and see them as preparation for eternity?
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
The hope of the Christian is the gift of perfect rest in the presence of God. #WisdomHunters #rest #truth #Jesus
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