Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Joyful and Faithful - Even In Tribulation

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

I walked into one of the stores where I live and was struck by the number of wooden, wall hangings with sayings of various kinds written on them. You know the type; with pithy little statements. One of them showed a man boastfully saying, “I rule the roost.” Right under it a woman remarked, “I rule the rooster.”

I thought of that as I was reading the book of Acts this morning in my devotional time. It struck me that you’d be hard pressed to find wall hangings with the likes of these:

  • “Count it all joy when you many trials come your way.”
  • “In the world you’ll have an abundance of tribulations; be cheerful about it.” 
  • “You’ll only get into the Kingdom of God through many pressures.”

All of these are loose translations of verses in the Bible: James 1:2, John 16:33, and Acts 14:22 respectively. If we had our preference, most Christ followers would hang up something like this: Through many days of perpetual happiness we enter the kingdom of God.  But that is neither Scripture, nor life. 

Perhaps Job said it best, “How frail is man! How few his days, how full of trouble!" [Job 14:1 NLT].

Storms of life effect everyone, believer and unbeliever alike. No one is exempt from them. Yes, of course, good things and blessings come our way, but so do tragic and inexplicable things. The Apostle Paul reminded us that things happen to us, which are “common to man” [1 Corinthians 10:13]. 

A Christ follower is not exempt from human suffering and tragedy. And while we cannot always see what God is doing in our spiritual life, He can because He is at work in us, making us more like His precious Son, Jesus. Keep the faith!

After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22 

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