TODAY’S MEDITATION – Your hardships can be a sign of a Christian life indeed (1 Thessalonians 3:1-4)

My brother, my sister, what is the reason that lead you to Christ? Some people came because they nearly died, because they are sick, because they need a breakthrough… Indeed, Jesus has come “to proclaim good news to the poor… to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18). But some people turn to God with the hope of escaping suffering on earth. My friend, God does not promise that. Instead, He gives us power to grow through earthly sufferings.

Today’s passage says this: “So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know”.

We must understand that Christians should live a life of obedience to Christ, despite temptations and challenges, knowing that hardships are not always caused by sin or lack of faith. Why did Job suffer and lose everything? It was for God to demonstrate His power and glorify His name in Job’s situation in the end. Yes, trials may be part of God’s plan for you too. Thus, know that the problems and persecution you may be experiencing are building your character: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). Indeed, when we look well, there are some traits of character that we find very hard to develop as Christians: perseverance (Romans 5:3-5) and sensitivity towards others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). If the Lord would not allow certain types of problems to occur in our lives, we may never be willing to get closer to Him, to follow Him sincerely and seriously or even to do what is right. In other words, my friend, your problems may just be a sign of an effective Christian life. So, rejoice be persistant and be strenghtened in your faith in front of persecution and hardships while waiting for the Lord to put an end to them as He did with Job who was able to face problems without denying, cursing or running away from the Lord and was restored. twice more than what he had before.. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.