Don’t Be Surprised!

Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

1 Peter 4:12-13

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

The modern “name it and claim it” teaching has been detrimental to victorious Christian living. I know that sounds contrary to logic since this false teaching promises pie in the sky if you just send in all your money and two cereal box tops. (Sorry about the sarcasm!)

The detriment of this sort of unbiblical teaching is that people become defeated and despondent when they encounter troubles and trials. All too often these ordeals lead to depression and defeat because the ones who encounter them have been led to believe they have done something wrong that caused their situation. Are you there?

The apostle Peter is very clear about this matter of dealing with trials and tribulations. For most of us, we start questioning why God does not protect us from painful situations. I think I may have an answer for that.

In Job 1:9-11, Satan responds to God’s boast about Job’s righteousness. “‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have You not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.’”

There it is! Satan accuses believers by saying that the only reason we trust in God is so we will be blessed. God allows us to endure trials in order to prove that our testimony is real. It is sad to hear people accuse God of making them suffer. That is certainly not proving our faith!

In today’s Scripture Peter gives the proper reaction for painful trials we endure. We are to rejoice. In James 1:3-4, we are told to count it pure Joy. He goes on to share the reason we are to react in this positive manner: “Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The next time you are tempted to feel that something is wrong when you encounter the painful trials of life, remember that God has allowed it and He has allowed it in order for you to grow strong and mature in the faith.

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

— Pastor Cecil

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