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Your Daily Devotional – December 7, 2011




Wednesday December 7, 2011  (11th of of Kislev, 5772)

“Learning from Suffering!”
2 Corinthians 6:7-10 (Amplified Bible)  “By [speaking] the word of truth, in the power of God, with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand [to attack] and for the left hand [to defend]; Amid honor and dishonor; in defaming and evil report and in praise and good report. [We are branded] as deceivers (impostors), and [yet vindicated as] truthful and honest. [We are treated] as unknown and ignored [by the world], and [yet we are] well-known and recognized [by God and His people]; as dying, and yet here we are alive; as chastened by suffering and [yet] not killed; As grieved and mourning, yet [we are] always rejoicing; as poor [ourselves, yet] bestowing riches on many; as having nothing, and [yet in reality] possessing all things.”

Each of us receive something differently from God’s WORD, an understanding deepened many times, simply because we are able to associate our present circumstance with someone who has also dealt with the very same issues. Taking a short look at the life of Paul, we find him writing of the trials and tribulations that he has endured for the sake of Christ Jesus and the Cross, a vivid reminder of shame, suffering and death.
To glean a better understanding, we must look to Paul’s life before his confrontation on the road leading into Damascus. Until he was ‘on his back’, literally so to speak, Paul was a persecutor of the early church, arresting, beating and having been a witness to the death by stoning of Stephen outside the city gates of Jerusalem. These accounts are part of his past, similar to what our lives were like while we lived in denial and rebellion, same as Paul.
Jesus gave HIS Disciples the parable of the Seed, being sown upon the fertile soul of our hearts, nourished and then harvested or reaped in fullness of time. A simple illustration in the natural realm, but holds profound spiritual connotations. Not that God desires for any to suffer, it’s reality often thought to be that HE does, but that is not Truth according to God’s WORD.
Paul points out in his letter to the Galatian Believers, the long term results of both natural and spiritual sowing and harvesting, Galatians 6:8 For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
It is God’s desire that we prosper and be in health as our souls prosper, yet just as with Paul, a time comes when we like he, Peter, John and countless other Disciples suffer for Proclaiming the Gospel. Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write both WORDs of Caution and Comfort, for having one without the other, is contrary to God’s WORD.
Comfort and Hope during our afflictions and trials, is only found in Christ Jesus, as our ‘old man’ is crucified and our hearts and minds Transformed by Holy Spirit. Where our ‘new man’ now becomes that Message which brings others face to face with the Risen Savior. We must be Truthful about our past as was Paul, submitting to God’s Spirit to then use our transformation experience as a Testimony of HIS Power to save but also to heal our broken hearts and strengthen us during future suffering.
O’Lord, my lips shout Praises to YOU for having rescued me from my destructive past, receiving me such Love as the father of the Prodigal son. I know YOUR Love for me, in that while I was far from YOUR Presence, YOU sent YOUR Son to find me and bring me into YOUR Kingdom of Joy and Peace. By YOUR Spirit have YOU brought me through many afflictions and tribulations, and now my voice must Declare YOUR Promise to those who are still living in the darkness and pain of denial and rebellion. YOU put a robe of Righteousness upon me and sealed me with YOUR Spirit of Grace, to share the inheritance of Kingdom LIFE, now and for eternity, Amen
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