In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
August 20, 2007 – Easy to Say, Difficult to Do – Matthew 5:10-12
God’s commands sometimes defy human logic. For example, rejoicing in persecution doesn’t make sense until we realize the effect of praise. It keeps us focused on the Lord and the good things He brings out of hardship.
The apostle Paul faced greater abuse and suffering than most of us ever will. He was beaten, put on trial, and imprisoned. But he looked beyond these difficulties to what the Lord was accomplishing through his life. For instance, he didn’t rejoice that he was a captive. But he did celebrate the great ministry he had among his prison guards.
If we believe the Lord is in control and He keeps His promises, then we must trust in the principle of Romans 5:3-5. This passage assures us that our hardships have purpose. They develop our endurance, strengthen our character, and solidify our hope. Two immediate rewards of suffering are the deepening of our faith and the preparation for greater service to the kingdom. We’re able to rejoice because we’re maturing believers whom God uses for His purposes.
The Lord will bring good from our persecution, just as He did for Paul. But if we allow doubt to cloud our faith, we won’t be able to rejoice in what He’s doing through our life. And if we can’t rejoice, we’re in danger of giving up before God’s good work is completed. Rejoicing keeps us focused upon the Lord and His purpose, so we may see our trial through to the end.
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