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Monday, November 24, 2014

Hope In Suffering

As we begin the new week this is the week of Thanksgiving so here is some words of wisdom to reflect on as you are preparing to spend quality time with Family and Friends. In this [living hope] you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. —1 Peter 1:6 When I opened my Bible to read Jeremiah 1 through 4, the subhead ascribed to the book startled me: “Hope in Time of Weeping.” I almost cried. The timing was perfect, as I was walking through a season of weeping over the death of my mom. I felt much the same way after hearing my pastor’s sermon the day before. The title was “Joy in Suffering,” taken from 1 Peter 1:3-9. He gave us an illustration from his own life: the one-year anniversary of his father’s death. The sermon was meaningful for many, but for me it was a gift from God. These and other events were indications backed up by His Word that God would not leave me alone in my grief. Even though the way of sorrow is hard, God sends reminders of His enduring presence. To the Israelites expelled from the Promised Land due to disobedience, God made His presence known by sending prophets like Jeremiah to offer them hope—hope for reconciliation through repentance. And to those He leads through times of testing, He shows His presence through a community of believers who “love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22). These indications of God’s presence during trials on earth affirm God’s promise of the living hope awaiting us at the resurrection. —Julie Ackerman Link Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see? O yes, He cares! —Graeff We need never be ashamed of our tears. —Dickens Bible in a year: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1 Insight The apostle Peter wrote his letters to a church that was enduring persecution for their faith. Though the “various trials” they were experiencing (1 Peter 1:6) may not be the same type of trials we must endure, the source of the strength to endure is the same. We are not alone in our trials, and our endurance in them is not due to our inner strength. It is God Himself who strengthens us to endure. We are kept by the power of God (v.5), so that our faith praises, honors, and glorifies Christ (v.7).

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