Blessed, Righteous Suffering

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But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
1 Peter 3:14

Have you ever asked yourself, Did I make the right decision?

Perhaps the Lord was calling you to trust Him; to step out in confidence, putting your faith into action. After seeking His wisdom through scripture and prayer, you knew it was right. It would be difficult, yes, but necessary. With the courage of the Holy Spirit, you followed His instruction. But it didn’t exactly work out as you expected.

I know the feeling all too well. Recently, God asked me to step out of my comfort zone by boldly speaking truth to a wayward Christian friend. It was scary, but I knew the Lord was asking me to willingly follow His lead. So I did. And I got the silent treatment in return.

Although I knew it was the right thing to do, I couldn’t help but question if following God meant loosing friends?

Sometimes, the right thing is unpopular. Sometimes it’s miserable. Lonely. We may suffer as a result.

Simply put, sometimes it sucks.

As I contemplated my misery and the potential loss of friendship, the Lord encouraged my heart by turning sucks into an acronym for prayer. He gave me five ways to lean in when life tempts me to bail:

Surrender the doubt

James 6:1 – But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt. Trust God is doing what He said He would do. Emotions change with circumstances but His will does not.

Utter a prayer of thanksgiving

I Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances. Thank the Lord for the opportunity to develop character, perseverance, and hope through this trial.

Cast our cares on Him

I Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Tell Him how you’re hurting. It’s ok to release worries by shedding a few tears.

Keep on keepin’ on

Hebrews 12:12 – And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Seek the Lord during hard times. Take the next step. The future is less overwhelming when we approach each day, each hour, each moment as it comes.

Sense the Lord’s presence

Deuteronomy 31:6 – …for the Lord Your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Invite the Holy Spirit into your darkest moments. Allow His presence to filter peace into your heart and mind.

I Peter 3:14 reminds us of the importance of doing what is right. Even when we suffer for it, we are blessed. It is an honor to be used by the Lord; a privilege to endure misery, rejection, and loneliness for His namesake.

As I meditated on the truth of God’s Word, my anxiety was replaced by peace. Finding favor with God far outweighed the favor of a friend.

Doing the right thing is always worth it because it honors God. So the next time doing the right thing makes you think, “this sucks”, remember the acronym. You’ve got this!

Jesus, it can be a real challenge to follow You at times. Thank you for Your blessing upon those who choose rightly. Give us peace in knowing we are honoring You. Amen

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