31 Days of Pure Joy: Day 21~ The Suffering (Part Two)

"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels."
~2 Thessalonians 1:5
     This is a beautiful, poignant promise from the God of Truth! I hope you read and meditate on it for a few minutes, but in summary:
  1. Are you growing your faith and love?
  2. You can persevere and have faith despite any persecutions or trials.
  3. God is just!
  4. You will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you are suffering.
     Our sufferings refine our joy.
     Have you ever had a tough time that you later looked back on? Can you observe now God's hand in it all?
     Many things we won't know until heaven, but God sometimes reveals parts of His plan to us, so we can with Joseph tell those sufferings:
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
~Genesis 50:20
     Don't you love how God's purposes prevail over and over again in the Bible? In the stories of Noah, Jacob, Ruth, David, Esther, and Jeremiah (to name a few)...the list goes on. Those are just a FEW popular ones. As the New Testament says:
"And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies."
~Hebrews 11: 32-34
     Pure joy through suffering is the clearest and brightest. It points others to Christ and His work in your life. This pure joy is tied with a ribbon of hope and delivered with perseverance, peace, and faith.

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