Monday, March 4, 2013

“SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Peter 5:9b”

1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

We are told that all of Satan’s efforts to devour us are not unique to anyone of us..  There are other Christians who have suffered these many, varied types of temptations and hardships.  In other words, the Satanic opposition that we face is a “common” experience of God’s people… 1 Cor 10:13 & 2 Tim 3:12…

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

We do not have to feel like we are alone.  Satan’s opposition to our service has been experienced by others also.  We can receive comfort knowing that our suffering is shared by our Christian family worldwide.  It is proof that we are the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and living lives that displeases Satan and glorifies our Lord.

There is another interesting teaching that we find in this section of Scripture.  The word “afflictions” comes from a New Testament root word “paschal” that repeatedly refers to the sufferings Christ experienced before and during His crucifixion. 

In other words, when we are told that we face Satan’s “afflictions”, it seems to be a direct reference to our sharing in the sufferings of Christ.  This is certainly a Biblical concept.  The Word tells us in 2 Cor 1:5, Phil 3:10, 2 Cor 4:10-11…

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;…”

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Christ Himself, tells us to of the need to take up our “cross” (associating our sufferings with His death on the cross)… Luke 9:23-24 (KJV)

And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Folks not only do we know that our afflictions are shared with other believers world-wide; but even more importantly, we know that we are sharing in the sufferings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  What a blessing, privilege and responsibility!  The Lord who gave Himself for us is opening to us the privilege of sharing in those sufferings. 

As we face the many stumbling blocks to our service for Christ today let’s be encouraged knowing our brethren are going through the same thing as an act of thankfulness and privilege sharing in the sufferings of our Savior! We are not alone!

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

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