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February 2011

Words to Live By

“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.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV

“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, hope.” Romans 5:2-4 NIV“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, hope.” Romans 5:2-4 NIV

“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.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV

The image of a God who doesn’t protect us from pain and disappointments is not a popular concept with many Christians in the west. Sadly, that ‘popular concept’ has left much of the Christian church weak and powerless.

When one studies the two verses above with other verses written by Peter and Paul on the subject of suffering, we soon discover two important lessons.

Firstly, let me say God doesn’t want us to suffer, but He allows it, and it is His desire, as Paul says in 5:2-4 that, 1. Our Character be strengthened by trials; and 2. Our vision of hope and heaven be enlarged.

I love this verse from Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:18 and gain great encouragement from it. I hope you do too.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is UNSEEN IS ETERNAL..!”

Maranatha, Beverley Carter

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