Thursday, June 15, 2017

Confidence in Suffering

What God wants you to know: You are not alone. You have not been abandoned. Whatever is going on in your life right now, God is aware of it. He knows everything. He knows what He is doing. He will work all things out for good. What He wants from you in this situation is your complete trust. He wants you to put your hope, your confidence in Him. In His love for you, His plans and purposes for your life, His wisdom, and His grace. He wants you to abide in Him. Use these words from 1 Peter 5 as your comfort from Him, your assignment, your “prescription” during this trial, this season of your life.

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another. ‘For God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:5-11, ESV)

God, your Father in Christ Jesus, wants this from you:

1.      Humble yourself before Him and walk in humility before others.

2.      Humble yourself by casting all your anxieties on Him. Do this by crying out to Him in prayer. Pray as often as you need, every time anxiety rears its ugly head. Acknowledge you are powerless in your situation and turn to the One who has all the power to meet your needs. Ask for His forgiveness where you have sinned, strayed from Him, taken matters into your own hands. Humble yourself before others. Don't respond in pride. Let God take up for you. Let Him meet your needs.

3.      Pray and cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you. Never forget that God loves you, the Lord cares for you, has compassion for you, treats you as His own. If you are in Christ, you belong to Him. You are not your own but have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). God takes care of His own.

4.      Stay aware of God’s presence with you. He is wherever you are. Cling to Him. Keep reminding yourself that He is with you now. He is watching. Hold fast to the word of life and don’t let the devil tempt you away from Him. Once your adversary gets you to thinking you are all alone in this, that God isn’t there or doesn’t care, then he can wreak havoc with your faith and your life and plunge you into despair and desperation. And that is what he is after. 

5.      Resist your adversary, the devil. Take every thought captive to Christ. What did God say? Are your thoughts agreeing with God or your adversary? Hold up your shield of faith. Take up your Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God. Pray for other saints who are going through the same kinds of sufferings. 

6.      Wait in humility and loving obedience for your Heavenly Father, the God of all grace to restore you Himself. Wait for Him to confirm your identity in Christ, to strengthen, and establish you. Don’t take any short cuts. Wait in hope, grace, and love. Keep abiding in Christ Jesus and keep letting His Word abide in you. Keep asking for His help, mercy, and grace. And God will do what He says He will do.

To God be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen!

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