Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 7, 2016
And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. Revelation 16:21
God does not waste pain. Jesus came to defeat the enemy by way of suffering on the cross, not by way of inflicting violence on the violent. Man’s violent act toward Christ turned into God’s extravagant love and forgiveness in Jesus. My heart hurts when I see pictures of innocent victims whose bloody bodies are riddled by bullets or bombs from cowardly terrorists. My sense of justice is outraged. Where is God in these ungodly acts? What should be our response to suffering?
Some curse God because they do not see Him in their circumstances—He feels foreign and disinterested in their desperate situation. But it’s in our feelings of desperation that we desperately need the Lord—yes He calls us to praise Him not curse Him when our pain is the most intense. Unbelievers curse God for His judgment, while believers praise God for His matchless mercy.
“It only makes sense that God, by whom and for whom everything exists, would choose to bring many of us to His side by using suffering to perfect Jesus, the founder of our faith, the pioneer of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10, The Voice).
Does your suffering or someone else’s seem unfair or unnecessary? If so, by faith seek to see the bigger story of Christ’s salvation at work in other needy souls. Our Lord Jesus does not waste pain—just as modern technology generates electricity from recycled landfill waste, so God’s amazing grace can rescue souls buried in a hades landfill of lost love. Instead of seeing injustice as just another needless crime—the Holy Spirit uses injustice to justify those separated from God in their sin. Your long suffering is the Spirit’s opportunity to draw lost souls to Jesus.
So, what does the Lord expect of us in the middle of suffering—our own or another’s? Our heavenly Father’s desire is for His children to draw deeper into Christ’s living water from His well of grace. Satan may try to ambush our trust in Jesus with trials and tribulation or even worse: fame and fortune—but though our body and soul may suffer—we gladly suffer for the sake of the gospel. Suffering is the canvas on which Christ etches His eternal invitation to be with Him.
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10).
PrayerHeavenly Father, when I feel the need to complain and curse; give me faith and hope to praise You and bless others.
ApplicationWho needs my comfort and prayers in the middle of current pain and suffering?
Related ReadingNehemiah 1:5-11; Luke 24:26; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Hebrews 5:8
Post/Tweet todaySuffering is the canvas on which Christ etches His eternal invitation to be with Him. #WisdomHunters #blessnotcurse
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