only help my unbelief

In His steps
August 17, 2008, 5:00 am
Filed under: Posts

Every Sunday, I try to share something I didn’t write to encourage you as you celebrate the Lord’s day. I hope this selection from my pastor encourages you in your walk with the Lord and helps you focus on Him on the Sabbath, HIS day. If you ever have questions about God or how you can have a relationship with Him, please e-mail me. I’d love to talk to you.

“If when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.  For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (I Pe. 2:20f.).
Doing right does not necessarily occasion suffering.  Nonetheless, when doing right does result in suffering, Christians are summoned to patiently endure their suffering.  When Christians patiently endure suffering for doing right, God is pleased.  The Christian’s unrivaled desire is to please to God.
Christians are called to suffer for righteousness and patiently endure their suffering.  Jesus is the model for all willing to do right and suffer for doing right.  Jesus fulfilled all righteousness for you and suffered for you.  His fulfillment and suffering secured your salvation and your ability to be sanctified (Heb. 13:12).
Are you willing to follow in His steps?  Remember that following in Jesus’ steps pleases God. Why is God so pleased when you patiently endure suffering for doing right?  Your patient endurance of suffering for doing right is the evidence of your new birth, your new character and your transformed mind.  When you respond so distinctly different from the normal worldly response, people take notice.  In the press of life, you are gifted with the illustrious opportunity to bring glory to God by exampling the character of the Christ who has not walked on this earth in nearly two thousand years.
Paul did what was right and patiently endured suffering.  He not only patiently endured suffering, he joyfully endured suffering.  Paul was placed in a Roman prison because his preaching of the gospel disrupted his culture.  Nevertheless, he declared, “My imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear” (Phil. 1:13f.).
How much did Jesus suffer for you?  He bore your sins in His body on the cross.  Why did Jesus suffer for you?  That you might die to sin and live to righteousness for it was only by His suffering that you could be healed of sin’s eternal ruinous wage (I Pe. 2:24).
Are you willing to suffer unjustly in order to bring God glory?  Are you willing to suffer unjustly in order to bring many lost souls to God’s saving grace?  Are you willing to suffer unjustly in order to bring other Christians into a progressively transforming relationship with the God they profess to love?
The patient endurance of suffering for righteous conduct is part of the Christian package. “To you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29).

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