Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12
When Walt Disney opened his theme park in Anaheim, a new era began in American entertainment. People flocked to the fantasy world of Mickey Mouse and the other Disney characters. Similar parks have sprung up in Florida and in various countries of the world. Disneyland offers wholesome fun for children and grownups alike. But unfortunately we sometimes expect that real life will feature a Disneyland-type experience, with no major problems and constant pleasure.
Saint Peter tells a quite different story to the persecuted Christians in Asia Minor. He writes, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” He goes on to suggest that they are participating in the sufferings of Christ. Living a clear Christian witness will bring insults and persecution at times. Peter tells them that they can praise God though they’re suffering.
Christ has suffered and died for us to make us His own dear children. He indeed promises us joy and an abundant life as Christians. But we may end up suffering for our faith in Christ. The Christian life is not a spiritual Disneyland, but an opportunity to praise God as we bear His name, no matter what the cost. He strengthens us in and through suffering and promises us eternal glory in heaven.
PRAYER: Thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for suffering and dying for us and making us Your own dear children. Help us to praise You no matter what our circumstances. Amen.
(Devotions from "My Daily Devotion" by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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