Our Real Hope
Today's Reading: Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. Hebrews 11:24-26
The world news is depressing. There seems to be so much suffering in the world. Why must we suffer? As children of God, why must we go through such painful trials and tribulations?
When we are going through painful times, there is no easy answer to those questions. But let's take a moment and just remind ourselves of what the Bible tells us. First of all, we are told throughout the pages of God's Word that we will suffer. Suffering is not an option. It is a fact of life. First Peter 4:12 tells us to not be surprised by the fiery trials. In other words, be ready for them. Do not be caught off guard when they happen. Moses chose to leave the palace and suffer the same types of afflictions that he had watched his people endure. Hebrews 4:15 comforts us by saying that we have a High Priest who understands our sufferings. No one suffered more than Jesus. No one understands our pain more than Him. We are never alone and never forsaken.
The next point for us to remember is this: Philippians 4:7 says, "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." The peace that Jesus promises is not always consistent with our definition of peace. The peace of God is a feeling of inner comfort and joy, which cannot be explained or humanized. How do we get such peace? We ask for it in faith. We pray. We seek Jesus. We continually lay our cares at His feet. We ask the Lord to give us an eternal perspective so that we can keep our focus on His purposes and not our own. Romans 8:17-25 is a great passage of Scripture that reflects this message of an eternal hope. The Apostle Paul speaks of our suffering with Christ, a suffering that all of creation must endure because of sin. "We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23)
For us today, our only hope is in Jesus. His living Word is our eternal food. His Holy Spirit is our living water. His very presence in our lives will change our hearts and minds with a wisdom and understanding that goes beyond our earthly desires. Jesus never promised that we would not suffer, but He did tell us to be of "good cheer."
Even though we will have tribulation in the world, we have His peace and He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
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