Others have suffered too
For reading & meditation: 2 Peter 2:4-10
"' the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials '" (v.9)
We continue developing the thought that meeting together with our brothers and sisters can bring about a radical change in our perspective. Tell me, have you ever gone to church feeling a little disconsolate or depressed and found, as you have looked round and seen people who have gone through much greater struggles than you, that your heart has been strangely lifted and your burdens have seemed lighter? You see a widow, perhaps, who has been left with several children, and as you watch her singing praises to God you see your problem in a different light. You notice a man whom you know has gone through the most horrifying experiences, but he is still there worshipping and magnifying God. This again works to change your perspective. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." One of the things the devil delights to do is to persuade us that the trial we are going through is unique. When you come in contact with others in the family of God you begin to see that is just not true. You rub shoulders with people you know suffered extremely painful experiences - experiences more distressing than you have ever faced. Yet they still continue to sing God's praises. You see, in the church we have an opportunity to evaluate 1 Corinthians 10:13 in a clear light. The truth is seen in its highest form. Others have gone through what we have gone through, and the knowledge of this helps us in our suffering.
Father, the more I dwell on the benefits of Christian fellowship, the more I see how wise and considerate are Your purposes. Help me not to neglect this most marvellous and helpful means of grace. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
For further study:
1. What did Elijah think?
2. What did God say to him?