Finding our identity in endurance…
July 14th, 2019
The topic for today was sprung on me Saturday afternoon. No special event, or anything unusual from my normal routine but suddenly my lower back screamed out in agony so much that I could hardly move about.
Since My mind was drawn to what my body was experiencing, I thought it might be a good topic for today’s devotional. So, today let’s take a closer look at pain, and how it figures into ‘working together for our good’.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Many devotionals over the last several months have focused on taking God at his word for what his Word says. God has never given us a reason to doubt him. The task of injecting doubt into situations, is the devil’s job. God consistently says what he does and does what he says. We have a tendency to conveniently overlook passages we happen to feel are contrary to our experience.
Therefore, if the scripture says, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God”, we can take that to the bank!
It doesn’t mean we will always know exactly what that good is and why God purposed it for us, but we can always be certain that he can and will use it for our good and his glory. If nothing other than to see us through the pain. That understanding is more than enough to compensate for any level of suffering.
Some things we should consider when we experience any suffering of any kind is this…
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
Romans 8:18-19 (NLT)
All our current troubles, sorrows, and suffering; cannot compare to the glory that Jesus is preparing to reveal to us later.
When he says in Revelation that he will wipe away every tear, he isn’t announcing his readiness to kiss our hurts away. When He said wipe, he is saying that those tears are the last ones we will ever shed. Three will be no pain and suffering and the joy of being in the presence of our savior will be unbounded and everlasting.
The other thing that we should contrast with our pain is the pain and suffering that Jesus has already experienced on our behalf.
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21 (NLT)
Jesus is our example. He is an example so powerful that regardless of our suffering, we know that he suffered a greater portion because he suffered for all of us collectively. That is suffering which is unimaginable.
The rest of this passage in chapter two outlines just the depth of this example we are to pattern our attitudes and behavior after.
He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 2:22-25 (NLT)
What stands out here in this passage is, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.”
Obviously, all of these sets standards for us that we may never be able to measure up to, but that doesn’t mean we should strive in every way to push toward these with Christ as our standard.
If we were capable of consistently walking in the footsteps of the Master, we wouldn’t have the application of grace upon us every single moment of every day. But seeking to strive toward that standard is what being His Disciple is all about.
If nothing else “Pain’s Blessing” provides for us a reminder of our identify in Christ Jesus. An identity that we should always keep in the forethought of our lives.
In the Grace of Jesus!