Fill my cup this morning Father.
“The people also stood there watching, but the rulers ridiculed him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” (Luke 23:35-37)
Jesus, the irony in the statement “Let him save himself” is that salvation did come, but later, not while on the cross. It was not by the avoidance or removal of suffering that God’s would show His love, but through suffering that God’s plan of salvation and love would be manifested.
Jesus, remind me of my call to suffer for your kingdom and out of love for my neighbors. Your Word says, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29) It is ok for me to ask for the suffering to be removed, Jesus you did in the garden. However, it is not ok for me to use whether the suffering has been removed or not as a measure of God’s love for me. Just like Jesus, sometimes my salvation and sanctification does not come by the avoidance or removal of suffering, but through the suffering.
If I surround myself with everyone who agrees with me and likes me, my character and formation as a person will not grow. If I am never tested by something that tries to knock me off my feet, how will I learn to stand firm? I would rather be sent to an elaborate buffet and feast, and I like to pray that way. However, it is in the gym that I am strengthened, so help me to pray that way. As difficult as it is in my will, and despite how “tough I may talk the talk,” help me “walk the walk” and to rejoice in my suffering.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:2-5)
My family, I pray you embrace the fact that if we have a savior who God demonstrated His love through His suffering, that He will demonstrate His love through you in the same way. I pray as counter to your flesh as it sounds, you will embrace that it is sometimes through suffering, not the removal of suffering, that your walk with Christ will lead you. In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
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