Acts 14:22  “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.  23  Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. God has said that every hardship, trial, and test will work for our good if we love Him and if we desire to walk in His perfect will. As we share in his sufferings, we also share in His glory! Romans 8:17  Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

The word “suffering” is probably one of the most terrifying and repugnant words in our vocabulary.  However, as you read the scriptures, you realize that suffering benefits us in many ways. As we experience God in our trials, we gain a feeling of “hope” that the world cannot take from us. Suffering also brings a Christ-like “character” to our lives and helps form within us “perseverance” that fosters a “never-give-up” attitude. As Christ brings us victory from suffering, we know we are on the winning side. Romans 5:3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

If you allow suffering to do its perfect work, you will “cease from sin.”  ~Keep Fervent in Your Love  1Peter 4:1  Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.  2  As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

It would be difficult to convince someone who is suffering that it works together for his/her good, but God says that it will. 1Peter 5:10  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  Our heavenly Father is filled with compassion and love for His children. 2Corinthians 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  4  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  2Corinthians 7:6  But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. God always knows exactly how to bring comfort to us. The key to God’s comfort is understanding how much God loves us.  We should emulate Christ by comforting others and bathing them in His love. 1Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.

Our Lord forms the light and creates the darkness.  He brings prosperity and creates disaster. Isaiah 45:7  I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.   God is thoroughly acquainted with our lives,  with our nature, and He is at work in us to bring glory to His name. God is in every part of your life and you can depend on Him to make the crooked places straight. Luke 3:5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6  And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’”  Christ not only saves us from our sins but He delivers our lives from the destroyer.

Daniel 6:20  When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”  21  Daniel answered, “O king, live forever!  Daniel 6:22  My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.  God gives us every reason to praise Him and in so doing, He brings glory to His name.

Listen to the words of Paul the apostle: 2Timothy 4:16  At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.  17  But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.  18  The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Rise up and bring Him glory! Our suffering cannot hold us, our trials cannot destroy us, and the enemy is no match for us.  We are more than conquerors through Christ!  No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper!  2Corinthians 4:7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2Corinthians 4:8  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  9  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  2Corinthians 4:15  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. When we suffer for righteousness sake, we bring glory to God because we are examples to the world of God’s love, grace, and delivering power.

2Corinthians 4:16  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  17  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  18  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2Corinthians 5:15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  ~To Live Is Christ  Philippians 1:21  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Throw off your shackles, leave your worries and despair behind for Christ is in you to destroy the works of satan and free you to glorify Him. His love will lift you up above your circumstances.  All you have to do is “believe” that He rewards those that diligently seek Him. ~Exaltation of the Afflicted Isaiah 61:1  The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,  2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,  3  and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

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