Friday, January 21, 2011

Reviled for the name of Christ

"If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you." (1 Peter 4: 14)

Long-suffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Long-suffering, that is patience is the unmistakable sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a soul. Other fruits of the Holy Spirit are: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

While some of the fruits of the Holy Spirit can be counterfeited, long-suffering cannot be faked. Paul said that while signs and wonders follow the apostle, long-suffering is the unmistakable sign of the apostle.

O Holy Spirit, O Spirit of glory, grant me abundance of long-suffering.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Joys and sorrows in the life of Christ

"But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed." (1 Peter 4:13)

The sufferings of Christ constitute a type and shadow of Christian experience. There is simply a divine necessity that every Christian must share in these sufferings. Christ's life is the model for the life of every Christian. The life of Christ is made up of patterns of joy and sufferings. These patterns are types and shadows of our own joys and sufferings. The cross leads to the crown. The trial leads to joyful testimony. This is a spiritual imperative.

When we suffer with Christ, we can then shout with joy when His glory is revealed. No birth pang, no joy of nursing.

St Agnes whose feast is January 21st suffered deprivation and martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Today she is enjoying her crown and glory in heaven. Her life is still remembered and celebrated throughout the world. Many churches and schools are named after her. The young girls who were her contemporaries who chose a different life style and lived worldly life enjoyed this dulce vita for maybe 80 years or less. Where are these girls today? What are their names? Who remembers them?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fiery ordeal

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange is happening to you." (1 Peter 4: 12)

Sufferings of all types, whether delays, obstacles, disappointments, sickness, joblessness should not come as a surprise to Christians. Yet they do. Christians who are still eaglets and immature in the word of God have not come to perceive that every day is a day of battle for the Christian. The good thing about the battle is that if we persevere, the outcome is always victory.