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Each day of this devotional series, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all He’s done for us in Christ.
I will never forget a college student I ministered with named Peter. He prayed that he could suffer for the gospel. Can you believe that? We all came under significant opposition that year, Peter in particular. Yet we also saw many hear and respond to the gospel. We all suffer, but it has an eternal purpose.
As we read God’s story, a collection of poetry interrupts the narrative. Let’s start with a look at Job, a book all about suffering.
God gave Satan permission to bring misery on upstanding Job. God allowed it, and Job lost his livelihood, most of his family and his health. Job had two possible responses to his circumstances: He could curse God or remain faithful.
Suffering is both the result of and the remedy for a fallen world.
The human race corrupted God’s perfect world. Our bodies, our relationships, our environment do not reflect God’s ideal. Pain results. We all experience it.
God sees us suffering and cares enough to do something about it. To redeem mankind, God had to suffer. “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God ... should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered” (Hebrews 2:10, New International Version).
Scripture reminds us that to suffer for the gospel is necessary, inevitable, redemptive and rewarding. Christ suffered to bring many into His kingdom. We do too as we partner with Him to reach out to others. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17, New International Version).
Suffering for the gospel allows us to be comforted by God, to be refined in our faith and to be significantly used and rewarded in our efforts for the kingdom. It’s the privilege of suffering.
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