Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 14, 2019

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:26-32.

“When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him.  But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.  For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’  Then they will begin TO SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US.’  For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.”  Luke 23:26-32.

—————————

In today’s Scripture, what do Simon of Cyrene, the daughters of Jerusalem, and the two criminals have in common?

They would suffer.

But, they were very different also.

Simon of Cyrene suffered for doing what is right.  But, the daughters of Jerusalem were part of the group who suffered for doing what is wrong by rejecting Christ.

The theme of this devotion is the subject of suffering. 

First, it is important to note that we should not live in fear.  “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?”  1 Peter 3:13.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,”  2 Timothy 1:7-8.

Second, even if we do suffer for the sake of righteousness, we should consider ourselves blessed.

“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.  AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;  and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”  1 Peter 3:13-17.

The Apostle Paul recognized “the fellowship of His sufferings” that we have with Christ.

Paul said:  “… I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, … that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:8-11.

One of the criminals who were being led away to be crucified with Jesus exhibited on the cross this “fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”.  And, we see from Jesus’ promise, that he also did “attain to the to the resurrection from the dead”.  See Luke 23:39-43.

Third, God gives us grace sufficient to handle any sufferings that we may experience.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake;  for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  To Him be dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”  1 Peter 5:6-11.

Fourth, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us“.”  Romans 8:18.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: