Day: November 5, 2013

Partakers of His Suffering

Oswald Chambers Imageby Oswald Chambers

. . . but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings . . . —1 Peter 4:13

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of others. Because of this process, you will never be surprised by what comes your way. You say, “Oh, I can’t deal with that person.” Why can’t you? God gave you sufficient opportunities to learn from Him about that problem; but you turned away, not heeding the lesson, because it seemed foolish to spend your time that way.

The sufferings of Christ were not those of ordinary people. He suffered “according to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:19), having a different point of view of suffering from ours. It is only through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. When it comes to suffering, it is part of our Christian culture to want to know God’s purpose beforehand. In the history of the Christian church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God’s orders through a shortcut of their own. God’s way is always the way of suffering— the way of the “long road home.”

Are we partakers of Christ’s sufferings? Are we prepared for God to stamp out our personal ambitions? Are we prepared for God to destroy our individual decisions by supernaturally transforming them? It will mean not knowing why God is taking us that way, because knowing would make us spiritually proud. We never realize at the time what God is putting us through— we go through it more or less without understanding. Then suddenly we come to a place of enlightenment, and realize— “God has strengthened me and I didn’t even know it!”

by Oswald Chambers

You Are My Refuge

J.R. Miller Imageby J.R. Miller

“Help for the Day”

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms!” Deuteronomy 33:27

“You are my refuge–my portion in the land of the living!” Psalm 142:5

Often we do not learn the depth and riches of God’s love, and the sweetness of His presence–until our earthly joys vanish out of our hands, and other beloved presences fade away out of sight.

The loss of temporal things seems often to be necessary to empty our hearts–that they may receive unseen and eternal realities. The heart’s door is never fully opened to Him–until the soul’s worldly joys are removed; then, while it stands open, He enters bearing into it immortal joys!

How often is it true, that the sweeping away of our earthly hopes reveals the glory of our heart’s refuge in God! Someone has beautifully said, “Our refuges are like the nests of birds: in summer they are hidden among the green leaves–but in winter they are seen among the bare branches.” Worldly losses but strip off the foliage, and disclose to us our heart’s warm nest in the bosom of God!

“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble!” Psalm 9:9

“God is our refuge and strength–a very present help in trouble!” Psalm 46:1

“You are my strong refuge!” Psalm 71:7

by J.R. Miller