1 Peter 4:12 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you."
Bad things do happen to good people. We often ask: Why, when we love and serve God, do so many bad things happen to us?
It bothers us, but Peter suggests that we should not regard this as strange. It is going to happen. The cross of adversity dominates our lives. It is our reality. Christ had to suffer; we shall have to suffer. But we shall not only share His suffering; we are assured that we shall also share in His glory.
Saint Peter tells us that through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, God has given us an inheritance, safe in heaven for us. Our trials can have the helpful purpose of refining our faith, as gold is refined, so that we cling all the more strongly to our Savior and thus gain what God wishes to give us: eternal life with Him in heaven.
There is evil, and we should resist it. But when bad things happen to us, with God's help we can move toward acceptance and the useful purpose He would make of them in our lives. Above all, God's desire is that we may enjoy good things with Him in all eternity.
PRAYER: Father, let me trust You completely with my life, even to the extent of accepting -- and using for good -- the bad things that happen to me. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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