Morning by Morning, August 16 - Faith Grows and Love Increases through Every Challenge
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I'm seeking Your face and listening for Your voice, as I watch and wait for Your leading. ...
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering" (2 Thessalonians 1:2-5).
Faith grows and love increases as we suffer through every challenge of persecutions and afflictions in the world around each one of us each day in the power and peace of Your grace. When we hold steadfast in faith through whatever comes, we grow in learning to love. And learning to love is the point of it all. For You are love; and You've created us to learn and grow in our capacity to love and be loved. "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.... If we love another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.... God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.... because as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:8-17).
I know the sufferings, afflictions, and persecutions of my world are pretty mild compared to the apostle Paul's or the first century Christians he was writing to, in order to encourage and inspire them. I know what I endure is hardly anything compared to what so many Christians endure around the world every day in our own generation. But whatever we endure at whatever level of severity is always an opportunity for each one of us in our own surroundings and challenges to learn to love and grow in faith.
"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has be poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:1-5).
Holy Spirit, give me a right spirit and right perspective as I endure and grow through the opportunities that may come today. Whatever it is, no matter the source, You will use it to make me more like Jesus if I embrace the power and peace of Your grace. Thank You for the promise of Your Word, "'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in (your) weakness.' So I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
I know with all my heart, because I've seen it so many times, that my God is able to cause all things to work together for good for me (Romans 8:28). And I know with all my heart, because I've seen You confirm the truth of Your Word in my life so many times, that my God "is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all (I) can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever!" (Ephesians 3:20-21) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My Friend, I pray your faith grows and your love increases through every challenge you faith, becoming more like Jesus each day in the peace and power of God's grace for you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!