Handling Suffering – The Call of Endurance - Friday, July 6th
(This week’s Devotionals run Monday through Saturday)
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:32-36
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Today’s Scripture is from the book of Hebrews. The author of the book of Hebrews is writing to a group of Christians who seem to have experienced much of what Jesus warned his followers they would experience in following him. The entire book of Hebrews seeks to renew and encourage Christians who are suffering for their faith so that they can keep going and keep enduring whatever comes their way because they are fully following the Lord Jesus Christ. Today’s passage presents us with a weary group of Christians who are teetering on the edge of giving up and withdrawing from the fray. The author of Hebrews calls them back to where they had been earlier on with a firm challenge to “endurance in suffering.”
The story goes that a Christian leader from the United States was speaking to a Christian leader from a third world country and he asked him, “How are you handling the “adversity” in your country?” The reply was, “We are handling the “adversity” in our country a lot better than you are handling the “prosperity” in your country.” I suppose we could say that we need “endurance in prosperity.” Colossians 3:1-2 addresses this need when it says, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
The test for whether our minds are set on the things above or on the things of earth is simple. Read today’s passage again and ask yourself, “Am I willing to go through what these Christians went through for the cause of Christ?” While there are certain levels of suffering we may experience, they are not usually the kinds of suffering the Hebrew Christians experienced. We do live in a land of prosperity. The path for us is “endurance in suffering” that stems from “endurance in prosperity.” We need an endurance that guards us from the pitfalls of prosperity and prepares us with a willing spirit for anything and everything that might come or way because we follow the Lord Jesus Christ fully.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, help me to set my mind on the things above and not on the things of earth. I realize that you have placed me in a prosperous land and that’s the way it is. Just please guard me from the pitfalls. I want to be a Christian who stays close to you and is empowered by your Spirit so that I endure and follow you fully every day. Amen!
Posted on Fri, July 6, 2018
by Ken Hart