January 22, 2009

Beauty for Ashes

So today I was reading "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers, and he referenced 1 Peter 4:12, which states:
"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."
Chambers says to "rise to the occasion--do what the trial demands of you. It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body." He goes on to remind us that we "have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be manifested" in our bodies.
I love this! He says that yes, we are Children of the Most High God! God has special, specific plans for us & He gives our lives special purpose, abundance, and vitality.
However, we may be royal priests, but we still live in this world. We are called to be in this world, just not a part of it. So that means that we should expect to have troubles & trials. Things won't be any "easier" because we belong to Christ, but He will give us comfort, hope, & His amazing peace that surpasses all understanding. Because we belong to Christ, the Dark Enemy can only do so much to us. He can bring pain & trials our way, to try & cripple us, but Satan can only do to us what God allows. And Christ gives us a reason to persevere through all manner of trouble.
And that reason, as Chambers states, is so that God can continue to manifest Himself in us, as we continue to live for Christ and "work out" our salvation.
If we give our entire lives & selves over to Jesus, He will do with us what He wants, and we will be better for it.

A similar scripture passage: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."----James 1:2-4

Here James says that the trials we face in this life cause perseverance to grow within us, and perseverance in turn makes us mature & complete. So enduring through trials & troubles cause God's strength & power to show through us, and cause us to become emotionally & mentally mature & complete?!?
Well, in that case, bring on the trials! And thank God for them!

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