Thank you, God, for the gift of suffering. It is not a gift I would have chosen for myself, as I am a weak and fearful person by nature. Thank you for loving me enough to choose it for me. Thank you for the glorious purpose it serves in my life- to build me in perseverance, character and hope, which brings me more joy as the object of my hope is your glory! Thank you that suffering brings me nearer to you as it solidifies my joy in the hope of your glory as I learn to stand more firmly in your grace through suffering. Thank you that I have tasted this grace and glory, as you pardoned me from my guilty verdict through the suffering of Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for suffering perfectly and being my guide in this. Thank you, Jesus, for reconciling me to the Father, so that I might share in your sacred fellowship! Thank you that I am ever learning that the hope of your glory does not disappoint me as the love you pour into my heart by the Spirit is a seal, a promise, a guarantee and an evidence that YOU are faithful even when I am not! Yes, I am suffering now. No, I did not and probably would not ever voluntarily choose this gift for myself. No, I do not delight in it for its own sake. Still, I cannot thank you enough for it because of the perseverance, character, and joy in the hope of your glory it always brings! I know that the suffering now is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!
Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 8:12-30 “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
One Spirit, One Faith, Many Opponents - There was a time when believers often spoken of the Christian faith using military language. “Onward Christian Soldiers” may sound antiquated now, but not ...
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