Monday, October 8, 2012

We will be rewarded for our sufferings

Each of us is called to be like Jesus. That’s what it means to share His holiness. We are called to share His nature – to personify our Lord in love, character, wisdom, and power. This is why God saved us. He justified us so He could mold us into the image of His precious Son. Then the world could see the glory of God – live and in person – through us. Is there any higher calling? Is there any more grand and noble purpose? What a privilege to be called into God’s family. And just as our general call is to unveil Christ to the world, our specific call is to unveil Him within our particular spheres of influence – our relationships, vocations, neighbourhoods, and gifts.

God uses trials in the believer's life for several reasons. They purify us (Malachi 3:3-4, 1 Pet 1:6-9. Psa 66:10) by making us rely more on God and His grace. James tells us trials increase our patience (James 1:3,4,12) and God uses them to glorify Himself (1Pet 4:12-16). Paul sums it up well when he states "my strength [in trusting and drawing closer to God] is made perfect in weakness" (Gal 12:9). The non-believer suffers to despair (Gal 6:7-8). He has no hope and no assurance that he will be delivered out of these trials.

Because God sees the end from the beginning, He knows where we're weak and where we need refining. Suffering is like a refiner's fire: burning away all the impurities and leaving only that which is profitable. We will be rewarded for our sufferings (Matt 5:10-12) and in them we can comfort others who are going through the same difficulties. Remember, Jesus suffered more than any man, but to the greater glory. In His sufferings, he made the way for us to be reconciled to God. If in our sufferings we can lead others to Christ, then we should suffer joyfully. Remember: "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us"(Rom 8:18).

The wilderness is the process. It is a dry, difficult time when God strips us of self-support and compels us to look to Him in a new way. God does not want superficial people. He does not want children who know how to act spiritual in church or when life is easy, but when serious pressure or injustice come, react just as the world would. God wants a people like His Son – fully developed, spiritual people who have gone through raw wastelands and emerged shining like stars. “When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

The Lord has a purpose for your life, and He is constantly working to achieve it. Although He has an individualized plan for each one of His children, He also has an overarching goal—to conform every believer to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish this, He may have to bring us through some struggles and heartaches. It might make no sense to us, but God knows exactly what He’s doing.


Raj Kosaraju

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