The Blessing of Tribulation - God Expands His Kingdom through Our Suffering - Friday, December 22nd
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
When throughout Christ’s time here on earth we trace all the enemy’s attempts to derail His mission, we are amazed at the following: how bad things are used for good, seeming detours become vital to the fulfillment of Christ’s mission, and the enemy does not win even though it seems like he has when Jesus ends up on the cross. The cruel tool of the cross actually secures the victory and defeats the enemy. What a reversal. We must remember that we are on the winning team and that for the bad things that confront us on our journey through life, God has miraculous reversals waiting just around the bend. So, we can take courage, be full of faith, and know that God has abundant comfort and care for our suffering and hurt. And of course we have the great solace that all the tough things we go through as we participate in His kingdom work are the very means He uses to wonderfully expand the reach of His kingdom of love. We are truly blessed!
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that what I consider to be a blessing is far too often influenced by my materialistic and humanistic orientations. You are wise and Almighty and know what is necessary and best. Thank you for never giving up on me and for always working to orient me to what really counts. I do see the blessing of tribulation and how you use the suffering in my life to expand your kingdom. This Christmas I choose the beauty of your kingdom and whatever suffering comes with it over the glitter of stuff and its passing pleasure. Amen!
Posted on Fri, December 22, 2017
by Ken Hart