God Tests before He Entrusts
For reading & meditation - 1 Peter 4:12-19
"... those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." (v. 19)
God seldom uses anyone unless He puts that person through the test of suffering and adversity. Jesus, you remember, began His ministry in the wilderness of temptation, but it culminated in a garden in Jerusalem on Easter morning. Our lesser ministries, too, need the test of suffering. An ancient proverb says: "He who is born in the fire will not fade in the sun." If God lets us suffer in the fire of adversity, depend on it - He is only making sure that we will not fade in the sun of smaller difficulties. Has life broken you by suffering and affliction? Are you feeling weakened and drained by the things that have happened to you? Take hold of the principles we have been examining this week, and I promise you that never again will life break you at the point of suffering. This does not mean that you will never again experience suffering, but it does mean that you will respond to the suffering with a new and positive faith. Let me draw your attention once more to the text we looked at the other day: "Although they may in the usual way slander you as evildoers, yet when disasters come they may glorify God when they see how well you conduct yourselves" (1 Pet. 2:12, Phillips). Make no mistake about it - the world is watching how we Christians react to suffering. What do they see? People who struggle on in continual weakness, or people who have been made "strong at the broken places"?
Prayer: O Father, I am one of Your followers, but so often I am afraid to follow You all the way. Yet I see that Your way is right - nothing else is right. I know You will stand by me; help me to stand by You. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What are some of the results of suffering and affliction?
2. Are these being evidenced in your life?