Spring could not have come at a more convenient time! It's been a rough few weeks and a vacation is exactly what I need! On Saturday, I had a wonderful bridal shower, my Grandmother came down and I was able to spend some time with her and I get to sleep in my old room! Plus, it's only Sunday! I still have the rest of the week! The plan for this week: wedding, wedding, wedding! My mom and I are hoping to get the rest of my wedding checklist completed!
But, for now, I can relax.
It's Sunday. The day of rest. I'm curled on the couch, p.j.'s on, and a sweet puppy laying at my feet.
I'm blessed to come home to such an amazing Sunday school class. My mentor, Kami, and her husband, Alfred, are the leaders. Just being with them anywhere does my heart good! They've both seen me grow up since I was 16...mentally, physically, and spiritually. Kamera has helped mold me to be the woman I am today. I couldn't imagine my life without her!
Anyway, today's lesson was...God designed. He's so good at that, eh?
We started talking about what the Bible has to say about suffering.
The passage we explored was 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trail 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. If you are insulted because the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
(The Message Translation)
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
If you are abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It's the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they're on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that's a different matter. But if it's because you're a Christian, don't give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
It's judgment time in God's own family. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message! If good people barely make it, what's in store for the bad?
So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what He's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.
When we suffer, we're more like Christ than ever before.