Hope in Suffering

Today's Bible reading: 2 Peter 3:1-14

In Christ there is hope in the midst of death … hope in the midst of suffering.  Even among early believers - who were so close to Jesus’ resurrection itself -  the fires of hope could become cold.  Some of the great letters of the New Testament - Philippians, Hebrews, 1 Peter - are written to lift believer’s sights beyond their present sufferings to the future glory awaiting them in heaven.  They had soon found out that their calling meant that they would be hated by the world which regard them as oddities, as social misfits in a world which believed in many gods, in many religions – (sounds familiar, doesn’t it –  the more things change, the more things stay the same).  They were going through the painful discovery that Christian faith meant hostility from nonbelievers, just as Jesus had warned.

Further, the longer Christ delayed His second coming, the more these believers became the victims of taunts and insults like “Where is the promise of His coming?”   In this situation it was vital that Christians should make sure that they didn’t suffer for the wrong reasons – as wrongdoers or criminals.  It should be their joy to suffer innocently for Christ, who had Himself suffered innocently.

Prayer: Loving and Almighty Father, we thank You that You are in control and that we are included in Your Master Plan.  As we await Your final consummation we pray together with all Your people: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! This is most certainly true!”; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.