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Romans 5:3-5
Tuesday, January 17 2012

Proud of Our Suffering...

Yesterday, we learned to be proud of our faith:

"Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us." -Romans 5:3-5 NAB

We should be proud of our suffering?  Paul tells us to boast of our afflictions?  Yes, indeed we should, because it is through our afflictions that we prove to the world what faith can really do.  As the world sees us overcome obstacles with grace, it not only shines a light on us, but on Christ as well.

Your suffering may come in a number of forms.  You may be struggling with an illness or health problem that causes you physical and mental pain.  There may be problems at home, in your family, that can cause you to stumble.  Even at your job, you may face hostility and oppression.  No matter where the suffering finds its source, allow your faith to be what guides you.

Someone very close to me is struggling in her job.  She faces daily suffering in a very hostile workplace.  Despite everything else going so well in her life, she meets daily obstacles in the workplace, and it can begin to overshadow what really matters in life.  It is at times like these that we must remember that all we do is in the name of Christ.  For everyone who is facing a similar situation at work, at home, or anywhere else in life, I give you this challenge:

"Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ."  -Colossians 3:23-24, NAB

In everything you do, do it for the Lord.  At home, work, or at school, let Christ be your motivation.  Because of our faith, the world will try to bring us down.  The stronger we become, the larger the obstacles that come our way.  Do not see this as a time to allow your faith to weaken, but use it as a time to allow your faith to grow and strengthen.  It is in these difficult times that our faith really shines.

Always remember, your faith can take you to new heights, but the world will try to tear you back down.  Yet, in the midst of your suffering and afflictions, allow your faith to bring endurance, character, and hope - hope in a Lord that will see you through all of your pain and struggles.  God loves you, and He will never leave your side.

 

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