For Turning Bitterness into Sweetness
by Charles R. Swindoll
Even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
—1 Peter 3:14–16
Our Father, as we acknowledge Your Son as Lord over all, it is with a sigh, because we cannot deny the pain or ignore the difficulty of earthly trials. For some people the reality of this is borderline unbearable. But being sovereign and being the One with full capacity to handle our needs, You are strong enough to carry our burdens and, in return, to give us the perspective we need.
Quiet our spirits. Give us a sense of relief as we face the inevitable facts that life is difficult and that there will be those moments when life will not be at all fair. Erase any hint of bitterness. Enable us to see beyond the present, to focus on the invisible, and to recognize that You are always with us. Remind us, too, that Your ways are higher and far more profound than ours.
Thank You for the joy of this day. Thank You for the pleasure of a relationship with You and with a few good, caring, loving friends. And especially, Father, thank You for the truth of Your Word that lives and abides forever.
In the strong name of Him who is higher, Jesus the Lord, we pray. Amen.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.