Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
Soldier's Orders (Part 34)
Willingness To Suffer
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an Example, that you should follow in His steps.
1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 (NKJV)
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10 (NASB)
No one wants to suffer, and most of us try to avoid it.
We try to avoid evil bullies by walking a different way. We try to avoid flagrant sinners by closing ourselves in church. We try to avoid humble lifestyles by gaining worldly success. We try to avoid people in pain by ignoring desperate need. We try to avoid risk and distress by mapping out a safe life.
But every attempt to avoid suffering puts us at odds with Christ. Because 'All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution' (2 Timothy 3:12), 'And you will be hated by all for My Name's sake' (Matthew 10:22). 'In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world' (John 16:33).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As soldiers, you must be willing to suffer.
Therefore, run toward mean bullies, that you may call their bluff. Go to all people, that you may show them love. Seek humble places, that God may raise you up. Look at tragedy, that you may offer help. Take risk, loss and pain, that you may show off Christ.*
Concerning your rise in the mission field of media, a field planted by 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2), 'Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy' (1 Peter 4:12-13).
So don't give up or shrink back. Rise like Christ. It's the least you can do. Because millions of your brethren now suffer unthinkable horrors. A 21st century holocaust is happening. Christians and Jews are targets.**
By becoming stars for God, you not only point toward Him, you point toward them, that they might be noticed and not forgotten.
'Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all' (Psalm 34:19).
To Be Continued...
* The purpose of suffering, as exampled and explained by Paul: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+12%3A7-10&version=NKJV
** Christian holocaust: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/16/has-christian-holocaust-begun-when-will-west-wake-up-to-isis-threat/; http://www.westernjournalism.com/isis-beheading-children-crucifying-youths/; http://www.virtueonline.org/isis-worlds-newest-holocaust
** Christian holocaust in other nations: http://www.prisoneralert.com/vompw_persecution.htm; https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/; http://www.persecution.com
** Israel targeted for destruction: http://www.pray4zion.org/WhatmakesthenationshateIsrael.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Soldier's Orders series.