Presence Devotion #25

Heidi Waddell

Scripture

Romans 8:18 & 24-25

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…For we are saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Insight

Our world is ever changing. Many things deemed by society as ‘progress’ are in fact progressively moving us further and further away from the Word of God. The Bible speaks a lot about suffering, particularly our own, and that which is for righteousness’ and Jesus’ name’s sake:
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 5:6 &10).

Our culture is continuously seeking to alter the statutes of God, but our God does not bow down to culture. He does not change His Word simply because humanity decides it is more convenient or current (read; ‘progressive’). The message of the cross is not convenient. Dying to self is not convenient. But it draws us into righteousness. Our God remains faithful to His Word. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8). It is good then for us to remain faithful to the Word of God. God will help us to strengthen our resolve.

How much do we thirst for righteousness? Do we sway like reeds bending to the ways of the world or do we stand strong like pillars, like towers in the Kingdom?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not bow, nor would they sway. Daniel would not cease to pray (Dan. 6:10). They faced the earthly rulers and decrees, but they would not act contrary to the Word of God. They hoped instead for His glory and were willing to suffer for righteousness.
“If our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up!” (Dan. 3:17-18).

The Truth diluted will scarcely bring transformation. Truth cannot change, otherwise it is not true truth. If we instead have passion for what is right in the sight of God, we have hope for His coming glory. The word passion comes from the Latin word ‘pati’ which means ‘to suffer’. Jesus had a passion for the world. He was willing to suffer for it. Do we carry the same passion for truth and righteousness?

‘For God so loved the world…’ (John 3:16). This love did not come without suffering, without passion. In the eyes of the world, nothing advantageous comes from suffering because it is hopeless, but not for us. The suffering we endure is abundant with hope. We rejoice for the hope of God’s glory. We persevere for the glory of God. If we have been in His Presence, then the evidence must be in our boldness and endurance for the prevalence of His Word.

Romans 5:3-5 says, ‘we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope’. Be reminded of this daily. Not only will truth prosper through us, but we may rejoice for we wait patiently for the glory of God. Be encouraged in the knowledge that we are not of this world. We wait for our home with earnest. The promise and delight of dwelling in God’s love is so wonderful, it spurs us on despite anything we may face.

Reflective Questions

  1. What does it look like to stand up for God’s Word in your every day?
  2. Can you recall a time when you might have lost something in order to stand up for Jesus?
  3. How do you feel about the connection between love, hope, passion, perseverance and suffering?
  4. How can you prepare yourself for difficult conversations in which you may be required to disagree based on your knowledge of what is righteous?