Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Rejoice in Suffering ... Really ... (Colossians 1:24)

Today's scripture: Colossians 1:24

Rejoicing in sufferings goes against society norms. How one could find anything good in pain and affliction is a complete contradiction to nonbelievers.

Yet throughout the Bible, especially the New Testament, followers of Christ are told to expect suffering. And, yes, even rejoice in it. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote that we are to "consider it all joy" when we face trials or difficult times (James 1:2). Why? Because God will use our suffering for His glory.

And again, our non-believing friends don't get it. They say, "Why would a loving God allow His children to suffer?"

The Bible says a lot about this very thing. If we continue to read the passage from James, we learn that going through trials will one day make us "perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (v. 4).

In another letter, Paul wrote that his suffering helped him to realize from where his strength really came: God Himself. He discovered that it was only in his weakness that he came to rely solely on God, and therefore, he could say with conviction, "... when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).

I know this is true. When I lived under my own "strength," I often failed. Yet, because of chronic health issues that keep me relatively weak, I find strength in Jesus. He's with me, walking alongside me ... often carrying me.

And so I can rejoice in my suffering because it draws me closer to my Lord God. Even more, my suffering makes me long for eternity, for the day when I can stand whole and strong before my God.

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