The Rocky Road to God's Favor
"But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps." (1 Pet. 2:20-21 NIV)
Responses to suffering:
"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly." (1 Pet. 2:22-23 NIV)
"'Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.' And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground." (Luke 22:42,44)
"And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.'" (Luke 23:46)
- Reality check: Life is UNFAIR; God is NOT.
"And [Job] said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God." (Job 1:21-22)
"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed." (Is. 53:5 NIV)
- Don't let the PAIN of your past and the FEAR of your future DEFINE your present.
"Don't be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel ..." (Is. 43:1-3 NET)
"'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.'" (Lam. 3:24)