Pass The Tests, Be Honored Forever

August 1, 2012

Friends,
Suffering is a good thing. Yes, it is certainly true that it’s not pleasant at the time that it’s happening (Heb. 12:11), but if the affliction is from God, or being allowed by God, then it is absolutely something we can rejoice in. (1 Peter 4:12-14) For suffering is our calling (1 Peter 2:21), it is God’s testing of us (Mal. 3:1-4 // Heb. 12:7), it is that which proves our faith genuine (1 Peter 1:6,7), and it is that which develops our endurance muscles by which we gain stronger faith, wisdom, peace, and holy character. (Rom. 5:3,4 // James 1:2-4 // Heb. 12:10,11) These things are what we want, for then God will entrust greater (harder and thus more honorable) assignments to us, and if we pass these as well, we will be found faithful and true servants of Christ. This is the goal (Phil. 3:14), and if we reach it, we will be rewarded with the prize (same verse) which is the crown of life. (James 1:12) Therefore, for we who are following Christ, we do not lose heart when trials come our way (2 Cor. 4:16), because God’s Word assures us that He will turn all of them for us into steps of deliverance and good. (Rom. 8:28 // Phil. 1:12)

Indeed, the hardships themselves are achieving, not only greater honor for Christ, as well as spiritual life for those who observe us (2 Cor. 4:7-12,15), but a much greater eternal glory for ourselves as well. (v. 17) For those who, in spite of sufferings, honor the Lord by serving Him obediently, will eventually be honored by God (1 Sam. 2:30 // John 12:26) in an unimaginable way. (1 Cor. 2:9) However, for those who show disdain for God by disobeying Him, they will heap to themselves God’s disdain (1 Sam. 2:30), His wrath (Eph. 5:6), and His eternal condemnation. (Matt. 13:41,42 & 24:51)

When faced with these truths, let us then rejoice when we encounter discipline, testing, rebuke, and judgement from the Lord, and remember that they are actually His love, mercy, training, and purifiers, “so that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32), but by enduring and overcoming, may actually reign with Him on His throne! (2 Tim. 2:12 // Rev. 3:21)

Let us therefore examine and test ourselves to see if we are walking in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5) and ask ourselves along with Christ, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant… whom the Master, when He returns, will find living obedient to His charge?” (See Matt. 24:45,46)

But it is by enduring suffering, learning from it, and overcoming through it, that we will, on that Final Day, be enabled to stand confident before Him as He judges –as He separates the faithful and obedient from the unfaithful and disobedient. (Matt. 25:31-33 // Rev. 20:11-15)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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