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WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, JUNE 07, 2021

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18a, where St. Paul reminds believers, 

We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.

 

HOPE AMIDST THE STRUGGLE!

I’ve been signing my latest emails and letters, “Peace amidst the struggle,” in order to share with people the biblical reality that God is in control even when things look dire. The Christian life is full of peace, full of hope, and full of wonder, and that can always be true, even in the middle of the chaos of this sinful world. For example, one of the hardest lessons to learn as a Christian is that suffering and trials also exist in the lives of those who fervently believe in Jesus. Unfortunately, many see suffering as a sign of a weak faith. Others claim that suffering is proof that God is displeased with a person. Some religions even have names for it such as “Karma” or “Getting what’s coming to you.” I’d like to invite you today to think differently about suffering and the trials of life so that you can have God’s peace and hope amidst whatever struggle you might be facing.

First and foremost, the believer in Jesus realizes the biblical truth that God is “for us” (Romans 8:31), no matter what comes our way. Why? Because of what Jesus Christ has done for us with His perfect life in our place, His justice-bearing death on the cross, and His resurrection life offered as a gift of grace to all who trust in Him. All of that is here for you NOW because of what Jesus has done, period!

If all of that is true, then why all of this suffering? Well, such things surely can remind us of our constant need for God’s grace in life. But such struggles can also be a way that God himself molds us as His testimonies of grace to people who can’t imagine that God could ever love them at all. When people see believers with the same troubles and trials as they have, but with a joy and peace that exists even there, that serves as a powerful testimony of God’s love which can also reach them through you. That’s one way that God fashions us for others, even as He prepares us for eternal life with Him. He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Some beautiful things are made of steel, right? There are cars, silverware, and tools, just to name a few. But for those beautiful things to be made, “a lump of iron ore has to be violently ripped from its comfortable place in the earth, shipped to a place far away, exposed to melting heat, poured out into a mold, squeezed by rollers, smashed and pounded in a forge, subjected to electric shock to bond other metals to it and later scraped against grindstones to give it a final shape. The resulting stylish sedan, or useful screwdriver or exquisite piece of tableware could never have existed except for the difficult experiences it endured along the way."[1] In God’s hands, with faith in the one who lived, died, and rose again for you, even suffering is a momentary struggle that can lead to something beautiful in your life and through your life for others. Count on it today.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I don’t always know why You allow difficult things to happen in my life. But when they do, give me even greater faith to trust in Your purposes for my life that I might also look for ways to witness to and serve others in Your name. AMEN.

 

[1] Godsview.Com. Accessed January 9, 2011; see http://godsview.net/gvilst.html.

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