Friday, August 26, 2016

The Truth About Suffering (2 Timothy 3:10-12)

Today’s scripture: 2 Timothy 3:10-12

One of the greatest tragedies is when a person of faith experiences suffering or pain, and then turns his back on that faith. Somehow, he expected a joyful and peaceful life, and when things don’t happen according to his plan, he rejects God.

People like this clearly didn’t read the Bible. While we’re certainly promised a “peace that surpasses comprehension” (Phil 4:7) and joy, we’re also promised suffering. In fact, a great verse that talks about joy connects it directly with trials and tribulations (James 1:2).

Paul certainly experienced pain and suffering and persecution much worse than most of us will. Beaten. Shipwrecked. Imprisoned. Hunger. Thirst. (See 2 Cor.11:23-27.) Yet, he rejoiced in his sufferings. In 2 Corinthians 12, he wrote of a “thorn,” something that weakened him. It may have been a chronic illness, according to some scholars, but it was something that caused weakness. Even through whatever pain he experienced, he “took pleasure” (NKJV) or was “well content” (NASB) because he knew God was using that “thorn” to show His strength (vv. 7-10).

And if he hadn’t made it clear enough, he wrote to Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

But we’re not alone in our suffering. The Lord will rescue us. He will walk alongside us and carry us when we can’t even walk. Christ’s power dwells in us, just it did in Paul.

What are you experiencing today that’s shaken your faith? Chronic health issues? Loss of a loved one? Financial difficulties?

Don’t let your sufferings turn you away from the One stronger than any trial or persecution. No. Turn to Him. His “grace is sufficient.” In fact, it’s more than sufficient to get you through.

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