Finding Our Way Back To The Ancient Paths: SUFFERING
Beloved, how has the week been? As we currently face unexpected and tough times in this season, I know it can be a strain – emotionally and mentally. Do try and find an ‘anchor’ to help you through these times. It could be music, a verse, a poem, prayer, videos of your travels, reading a book, etc. Find something that makes you happy and relaxed, especially if and when you feel any anxiety about the future.
For me, in crisis or tough times, my anchor verse has always been Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (KJV). I always remind myself that all things are working for my good and I should stay in faith and in love.
This week we look at the ancient path of suffering. (see previous editions)
Our text this week is from Philippians 3;10
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (NIV)
Apostle Paul defines a life for Christ as one that participates in all aspects; His resurrection, His suffering and His death. He defines knowing Christ as a practical participation in all these three.
Life throws all sorts of things our way, sometimes the barrage of misfortunes do not let up and you end up asking the “why me?”
Health problems, financial difficulty, marital issues, unemployment, death of a loved one, betrayals, etc – the list is really endless.
How do we see these storms of life? Do we see it as life being unfair or as a participation of the life of Christ? Truth is, some of us see it more as the former than the latter and then, over time as man-made religion started forming our opinions, some see it as punishment from a harsh God who sends bad things our way so we fall in line.
However, Apostle Paul is a clear example of one who suffered for Christ in order to spread the message of the gospel across countries. He did it for the love of Christ and nothing more and encourages us to do so that we may know and experience Christ fully.
James 1:2-4 says Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So rather than scream at the life for being unfair, take a moment and ask God for eyes to see what you are to learn from this experience, ask Him for grace to overcome and peace to encompass you as you go through the storm. Remember He is always with you.
Prayer: Father, open my eyes to see a new perspective on life and to understand the lesson in each experience. Amen
Charge: Romans 5:3-4. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Reflect. Repent. Return
You can send in comments to email@example.com
Oge Funlola Modie