Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Devotional 051108

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The world wakes up into a new chapter of American history; USA has elected the first African American President. The world had also witnessed how graciously a political opponent had accepted the loss of his election; he pledged to support the new president for the sake of his country. I pray that the government of both China and Taiwan especially, will learn from this kind of attitude in treating political disappointment. I joined my fellow Americans to salute Senator John McCain for many years of faithful service to his country, and his integrity in this campaign. Indeed, there is no better way to test a person’s integrity than the way he or she handles disappointment or suffering in life. Jesus pointed out clearly that disappointment is part of life, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). No matter how life may turn out to be (whether things turn out the way we want or not), we remain at peace in Christ with full assurance that He is the sovereign Lord of human history, in both the physical universe and in the spiritual realm. Let’s continue to watch and pray for this country where God has put us for a reason. He will use us to be light and salt in our world today.
If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not directly meant for you at all; they are meant to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you may come across in life. You may say, “Oh, I can't deal with that person.” Why not? God gave you ample opportunity to learn this lesson before Him, and you deliberately avoid it, because it seemed stupid to waste time for such person or lesson.
The sufferings of Christ are not those of ordinary men. He suffered "according to the will of God," not from the point of view we suffer from as individuals. It is only when we are related to Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. It is part of Christian culture to discern what God's purpose is about. In the history of the Christian Church the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ; men have sought to carry out God's commandments by a short cut of their own. God's way is always the way of suffering, the way of the "long, long trail."
The Bible says, "Rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings" (1 Peter 4:13). Are we partakers of Christ's sufferings? Are we prepared for God to remove our personal ambitions in life? Are we prepared for God to destroy by transfiguration of our individual determinations? It will not mean that we will know exactly why God is taking us on that way, lest it will lure us into spiritual pride. We never realize at the time what God is putting us through; we go through it more or less mysteriously; then we come to a glorious discovery, and say - ' 'Why, God has equipped me, though I did not know it!"
Yes, God always does thing in a mysterious manner. Though our eyes have never seen, and our ears have never heard, it does not mean God is not at work in our life right now. He is always at work in our lives simply because He loves us all. We may not appreciate the experiences that we are going through in life. But we know one thing for sure: His love for us will never change. And He will always watch over His children no matter how their lives may change.
Love you because He first loves me,

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