Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pressured To Share by Martin Wiles

Series: Perfected By Pressure
Sharing is now one of my favorite things to do. But this wasn’t always true.

Like most people, I had items I didn’t mind sharing, but there were some things reserved just for me. Special books. If I had more than one copy, I’d share, but if not I wouldn’t. Favorite pens. I’d loan them but would also make sure they were returned.

Seems silly now that I think about it, but our selfish natures often require God’s pressure so we’ll open our hands. Paul says belonging to Christ means sharing-in his suffering. And since we are his children, we are his heirs….But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17).

Sharing in and sharing with are radically different. Sharing with entails releasing something I have to another’s care and use-usually for a limited time. Sharing in means enduring what someone else is experiencing-pretty or not. 

Jesus was misunderstood, ridiculed and persecuted by the very ones who should have recognized and accepted him as the Messiah. He was beaten, mocked and crucified for sins he didn’t commit and by enemies he had no intentions of making. He stood for decency and honesty, hung around with people considered scum, helped those who couldn’t help themselves and paid a price for doing it.

Darkness despises light. Whenever we attempt to shine God’s love on evil, we’ll suffer in some form. But it places us in good company and God’s power enables us to endure. Don’t let the pressure of being misunderstood and rejected get you down.  Suffering for standing for right makes you a partner with the greatest Man who ever lived.

Prayer: All powerful God, give us strength to endure the suffering that comes when we stand for Your principles.

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