Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Thought for Thursday 6/20/13

“If we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer.”  2 Corinthians 1:6

It is too easy a thing to think that if bad things happen to us, the devil must be out to get us.  The Scriptures attest to the evil one working to tempt us to sin, to rebel against the Lord, but that we are given strength to resist those temptations when we ask; but we are also given the free will to submit to that temptation.  When we suffer any affliction, however, it is important not to simply attribute it to the evil one or to bad luck; it is to look to the Lord for guidance through the affliction and think about whether this affliction is something we brought upon ourselves through neglect or carelessness, or if this affliction comes by way of persecution.

Regardless, affliction is the best way we can draw even closer to our Lord when we consider the source of affliction AND the Source of comfort; in our afflictions we are often at our weakest and most vulnerable.  Our pride and arrogance are pushed aside, and we find ourselves humbled and willing to accept the Lord’s hand through the Church – as long as the Church is willing to live up to its potential.  Also remember, too, that affliction which comes from the hand of the Lord is either to get our attention or prepare us for what is to come.  Afflictions and our suffering through them can be incredibly purifying and strengthening – if we are willing to endure.

Regardless of the source of affliction, however, let us always remember that it is the Body of Christ, the Church, that is meant to help us through these afflictions so that we may be strengthened in our faith.  This is yet another reason why the Church has not outlived its usefulness – unless we are willing that our own local churches no longer serve the Divine purpose for which the Church was called forth.

We are called to something greater; let us strive for that greatness in Messiah.



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