While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”! Over the next 6 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself. Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.
Here is day twenty-six with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to be an example in the way you suffer.
Called To Suffer
“But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “
1 Peter 2:20-21 (NIV)
How often do you experience difficult times and think that it just shouldn’t be this way? Why? Have you ever learned valuable lessons in the midst of suffering? What? Could they have been learned without the suffering? Why? What does suffering as a result of poor choices teach you? Is that different from what you learn as a result of suffering for doing right? Explain. How is Christ represented in your attitude when you suffer because of what someone else has said or done? Who does your response change the most, you or them?
Suffering seems to be an unavoidable part of life and how we handle it can say a lot to a suffering world that needs to know the peace that only Jesus can bring in the midst of their hurt. When we live with the hope that only Jesus can offer, we find the pain of suffering can be a powerful reminder of how valuable we are to Him. It is in suffering for doing right that the world can see proof of what we believe. Whether the pain is physical, emotional, spiritual, or some combination of all three, learning to endure with patience in the midst of suffering is only possible when our eyes are fixed on the hope that lies ahead.
As you pray about being called to suffer, ask God to fill you with a greater hope in the things yet to come. Pray that you would make wise choices that would keep you from suffering for doing wrong. Pray that your suffering would make you more aware of the price Jesus paid for the hope that now dwells within you. Pray that others would know more of your love, and of God’s love, as you patiently endure suffering that comes from doing life God’s way.