Are you able to rejoice in your suffering?

February 8, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
(1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV))

It is definitely not human nature to rejoice over suffering!

Who will willingly go headlong into a situation where you know that you will suffer? What if you know that there is another way and that you will not suffer at all? Would you still choose the path that results in suffering?

On the surface, these types of questions seem to be sheer stupidity. After all, everyone likes things to be smooth sailing with no resistance, but . . .

There is always a “but”!

What happens when you look at things with an eternal perspective?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
(Luke 6:22 (NIV))

There is a time when suffering in this world is a choice that I would gladly make. It is an indication that I have rejected the world and its sinful nature. It is an indication that I have accepted the salvation bought and paid for in full at the cross. It is a sign that I have been rejected by the world just as the world rejected Jesus. It is a sign of faith to choose to face suffering in this world instead of rejecting Jesus and facing suffering for all eternity.

When you look at this passage from this perspective, it brings a whole new understanding to the concept of rejoicing in suffering.

Are you able to rejoice in your suffering?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you praise God?

July 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
(Psalms 47:1 (NIV))

How do you praise God? Do you sit quietly in the “traditional” view of church or do you rejoice in all that God has done? Personally, I believe that there is a time and a place for both approaches as long as they are done with the correct attitude.

Be still, and know that I am God
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

God calls us to be still in His presence. This is so that we may listen. This is so that we may speak. This is so that we may get to know God. This is not to be a time of self-righteous indignation if someone does not do exactly as you are doing. This is personal time with God the Father, and not a time to judge others.

Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
(Psalms 47:6-7 (NIV))

I want you to think about someone who is very close to you. Perhaps your mother or father. It may even be your spouse or a child. In your relationship with that person, you have moments of quiet personal time. You also have moments of fun where you are simply happy that they are who they are. This is the same way that we should be with God. When we are joyous for whom He is, then we should sing praises to Him, for He is worthy of all praise.

Clapping your hands and shouting to God in joy does not contradict the quiet times that He longs to have with us. God created us to be in balance. Without the quiet times, we cannot embrace the praise. Without the praise, we cannot comprehend whose presence we enter into when we have the quiet times.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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