Weekly Devotional 2-20-23 / Totally Surrendered, No Matter What
Many there are who claim to have trusted Jesus for their salvation, but find it difficult to trust Him in the affairs of their everyday life. It is probable that this has been true of every Christian some time or other in his or her life and there are many reasons for this. Not the least of which may be not being totally surrendered to Him. Being totally surrendered to Christ opens the door to many things that the uncommitted (the un-surrendered) Christian just does not want to endure. Such a mindset impairs fellowship and communication with Christ and is a springboard to confusion and doubt. If we Christians want to learn how to trust Christ in the affairs of our lives we must be totally surrendered to Him expecting that not everything will go the way we may want.
Jesus, just a few hours before He was arrested, told His disciples that they would have tribulation, but that they were to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world (John 16:33). Was there a limit to what he meant by tribulation? Many of them would suffer physical ailments, many would suffer through adverse weather conditions, be hungry and naked. Some would suffer beatings, imprisonment and some would even suffer death. These would be their experiences of life and those experience have been and are the experiences of Christians done through these many centuries. Should we wonder at these things and doubt that they may be the experiences of our life? Are we not to trust Him and be of good cheer, knowing that He has overcome the world?
Shouldn‘t we Christians come to the point in our lives (as did Paul) where we glory in and know the purpose of the tribulations that God allows or brings into our lives. Knowing and trusting that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope. (See Romans 5:3-4). As an example, consider Paul’s testimony about the life he and his fellows lived. “8We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So then death is working in us, but life in you.13And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:8-18).
Now, most of us probably won’t be called upon to endure what Paul and his companions endured, however some may but remember Paul’s encouragement to the Roman church. In that encouragement he asked and answered: “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
Many things will come our way, things that are not pleasant, things that are the experiences of life but, God can and will use those things to bring us to a spiritually mature person.
Transforming Power, The Work of God on Behalf of Man