Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: 1 Peter 4:12-19 Appended
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.
—1 Peter 4:12
Does it surprise you that trouble is a part of life? Probably not. We all know
trouble close-up and personal—bad health, empty bank account, blighted love,
grief, loss of job, and the list goes on.
It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that God permits the added trials of
being ridiculed and hated because we follow Christ (1 Peter 4:12). But trouble,
whether it is common to man or unique to Christians, can reveal to us the moral
fiber of our soul.
I have never seen a golf course without hazards. They are part of the game.
Golfers speak of the courses with the most hazards as the most challenging, and
they will travel a long way to test their skill against the most demanding 18
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I
wouldn’t pass it around. I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. Trouble creates a
capacity to handle it . . . . Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it
and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”
Let’s not think it strange when trouble comes, for God is using it to test the
stamina of our souls. The best way to handle trouble is to commit our “souls to
Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (v.19). —Dennis De Haan
The troubles that we face each day
Reveal how much we need the Lord;
They test our faith and strength of will
And help us then to trust God’s Word. —D. De Haan
Great triumphs are born out of great troubles.
Suffering for Being a Christian 12 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. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings
of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you
are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of
glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer
or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you
suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that
name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it
begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel
of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves
to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1. 1 Peter 4:18 Prov. 11:31 (see Septuagint)
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.