Thursday, March 31, 2016

Biblical meditation on suffering times.

1 Peter 4:12-13

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Lord, I should not have been surprised but I was surprised.  With all my acceptance of "East of Eden", I thought I was prepared for anything.  But then that which I was not prepared for happened.   It did seem strange and unreal to me.  It does seem strange and unreal with me.  Help me see it as a test me and mature me.

Let me see that my suffering reflects and is similar to the suffering of Messiah Jesus as he lived East of Eden.   Help me rejoice that there is a gain in my pain even as there was salvation in the suffering of Messiah Jesus.  Let me connect this process with the joy that will come when all the impact of our rebellion will have been redeemed and restored.

Romans 8:18-23

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Lord, let me have a greater vision of the glory of the kingdom so that I can see that this suffering great as it is, cannot be compared to the goodness and grandeur of that paradise on earth.

Lord, bring your kingdom to earth today.  Let the pregnancy of creation and the expectation of our redemption be fulfilled in total completeness and bring the final day to us today.    Free us from the curse and rebellion.  Set our souls straight in righteousness.  Come quickly Lord Jesus!

John 16:33

33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV)

Lord, in this world of rebellion, East of Eden we have tribulation, struggle, pain, and grief.   Bring to me your words of promise and let me remember that in your suffering and resurrection you have defeated the rebellion and ended the power of the curse.  Lord help me now see this truth in the middle of deep tribulation.  Lord have mercy.  Amen

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