Friday, September 14, 2012

Do Not be Surprised by Trials

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."  I Peter 4:12-13

When we go through suffering and struggles we are usually taken by surprise.  We think "Why me?"  The scripture says we shouldn't be taken by surprise.  We should almost come to expect it.  We should consider it an honor.  We are to rejoice.  That concept seem foreign to us.  Why would we rejoice?  I know that is not the first thing that comes to my mind.

We don't like what is happening.  We don't like the limitations that our illness imposes on us.  We don't like to inconvenience our husbands, children, and friends.  They go through their own suffering too.  They don't like to see us sick.  They want "normal" lives also.  The scripture tells us it is a good thing to share in the sufferings of Christ.  It's getting us ready for something bigger.

When I'm having a bad day I try to remind myself that this is refining my character.  What can I learn from this?  What can I offer others because of my trials?  Some days all I can muster is a quick prayer for a friend going through a tough time or an e-mail.  Don't underestimate the power of all those things you think of as small.  They can go much further than you think if God is behind them.  So next time you are having a bad day remind yourself that God is at work.

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