Daily Devotional for Friday May 27, 2011
The Suffering We All Experience in this Life
(Acts 5:31; Romans 8:18; Philippians 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Peter 4:13)
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance." Romans 5:3 (NIV)
The suffering we all experience in this life. Sadly, many people enjoy the suffering of others. Even though they won't admit it, some people take a certain amount of sick pleasure in seeing others suffer. Somehow they feel better about their own life when they see someone else in pain. Why else would pure garbage like Jerry Springer be so popular?
It is the explanation for why the judge programs have always been a staple of daytime television. It also explains why people become hooked on soap operas. It is THE reason people are fascinated by reality TV programs that dominate television today. I know for a fact that it is why some people watch the Liveprayer television program, to hear the pain of others as they call in for prayer and counsel.
When we think about suffering, we think about the suffering we do in this life from just living in an evil and sin infested world. That is why our relationship with the Lord is so critical. A byproduct of that relationship is the strength we get from within to endure the suffering of this life. A byproduct of that relationship is the peace and the joy we can know despite the suffering we may be experiencing. A byproduct of that relationship is the victory we can know even in the midst of the suffering life often brings our way. It is our relationship with the Lord that enables us to live a life of peace, joy, and victory even in the midst of the suffering we often have to endure!
Of course the Bible also talks about the suffering we do for the Lord. It says we should count it as joy to suffer for Him. My friend, you should rejoice if you are given the chance to truly suffer for Jesus. After all, He suffered for you!
There is NO suffering you will ever do, even to the giving of your life, that will compare with the suffering He did in paying for your sins. We should be grateful if we get the chance during our life to suffer for the cause of Christ. There are many brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who suffer every second of their life to be called a follower of Christ.
Most in this country call suffering getting up for church on Sunday morning, or having to perform some act of service. We haven't got a clue what suffering for the Lord really is, but as our nation spirals deeper in the spiritual abyss it is in we may find out very soon. If you ever get that opportunity, stand strong, know the Lord is with you, and boldly, proudly, and without fear, proclaim that Jesus is your Savior and He is the Lord of Lord and King of Kings!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you. I know this morning many are suffering from the trials and tribulations of life. I pray today that God will give you His strength, peace, and joy despite the challenges you face today. That in the midst of your suffering, you will come to know His presence in a special way.
He loves you and has promised to never leave you nor forsake you, even in your suffering! I will pray for you as well that if you are fortunate to get the opportunity to suffer for the Lord, you will embrace that opportunity. It is one of life's great honors to be able to suffer for Christ. I pray that you will seize such a moment and let your life be a living sacrifice for Christ and that He will be glorified in your suffering.
These are the last days. Great persecution will soon come upon the church and God's people. That is what the Bible says. These are the times for those who know Christ to stand up and be counted. Those who are playing games, those who are serving the Lord with the wrong motives, will all fall away.
It is that faithful remnant which will remain as they take their stand and truly suffer for being called a Christian. This life is about one thing, being faithful, even unto death. Now is the time for those who love the Lord to let this world know that no matter what we have to face for simply being a follower of Christ, we will proudly suffer for Jesus just as Jesus proudly suffered for us!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller