Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Hope in tribulation

“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”

Psalm 34:18-20
 

As Christians we are not short of suffering. When one reads and takes seriously, various Scriptures in the Bible concerning the Christian life, it becomes clear that it also means and relates to us. Why must the righteous suffer? Under the term “righteous” we understand those who believe in the forgiveness of sins by God. In other words, a person whom God has made righteous in Jesus Christ because of that person's reaction to his faith (Romans 3:26). What is behind it? What is the secret of suffering? The suffering meant here, is a particular suffering, namely – the suffering of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:5). God let Jesus suffer because of us (Isaiah 53:5). But this is offset by the abundant consolation by God. So both, in abundance – suffering and consolation! How does one recognize glory? I would say, if one had a comparison, it would be possible. The matter is firstly, that we left the glory of God through our sins and now “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are something like the heirs of perdition. When something becomes broken and unusable, because one does not make use of it at the right time, for which it was meant, then it spoils. The opposite of this would be a legacy of glory. So, when something is repaired again it can pursue its destiny. God was not shy to reveal the comparison between His glory and our damnation. This was achieved through suffering which turns to consolation and shows itself through compassion in the Person Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15). Whomever lives a righteous life in an unrighteous world, suffers – it is inevitable. God came from the heavenly glory to a corrupt world, so that we could go from a corrupt world to the heavenly glory and eternity. Maybe it is possible to provide a clearer image of our sorrowful existence as Christians.

We can only exchange our garments (bestowed from Above) when we have first played the game. And this “Game of Life” sometimes takes place on cold, hard floors and in windy, stormy weather conditions. This includes many hard landings and wind blowing us over. When the enemy sometimes trips us up or we stumble over our own feet, we are comforted by the fact that we are able to do warfare and close the door against such attacks. In-between, we are also able to encourage others and help them back on their feet (Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief”) Suffering is judgement of sin (John 1:29). We are redeemed, but in hope. That means, we are still awaiting the invisible redemption and still live with the temporal effects of sin. We must ask ourselves, how can God show us His love and grace, if we can't suffer in ourselves and in the world. We read in Psalm 94:18-19 “When I said, my foot slippeth; Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.” God loved us first, therefore we should and may also love (1 John 4:19). What could be more beautiful and meaningful – God is love! And that, which Paul told the church in Rome with conviction, still applies: “For I reckon 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). Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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