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I read a great devotional this morning by Tim Keller in his book “God’s wisdom for navigating life.” I found it helpful for perspective as we all adjust to this COVID 19 reality. I hope it helps you as well.

Job 5:7 – “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”

“No Surprise. Sparks fly upward from a fire naturally, so human suffering is inevitable. God told us so in Genesis 3:17-19, so we should not be shocked at suffering. Modern western people are more traumatized by it than others. We have too much faith in our technology and our democratic institutions and we are conditioned by our secular, materialistic culture to seek most of our happiness in fragile things like good looks, wealth, and pleasure.

It is wise, however, to be ready for suffering. Often most of the painful emotions people experience during adversity are actually the shock and surprise that they are suffering at all. Even many Christians believe that God won’t let really bad things happen to them. But Jesus himself disproves that. If God allowed a perfect man to suffer terribly for a greater, wonderful good, why should we think that might not happen to us? ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal . . . as though something stranger were happening to you’ (1 Peter 4:12).

How can you have fellowship with Jesus in your suffering?”

Prayer: Lord, as I read about your life in the gospels, I see you experiencing pain and rejection on every page. Yet somehow I assume that I deserve a better life than you! My heart’s foolishness is so deep when it comes to suffering. Make me ready for it. Amen.” (Tim Keller – God’s wisdom for navigating life – March 17 – page 76).

I appreciate Keller’s question “How can you have fellowship with Jesus in your suffering?” We will all have more time on our hands at home over the next while. I encourage you to invest some of this time with going deeper with Jesus. Read through the Gospels. Take this extra time that you can seldom find to go deeper in prayer with Him. “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings” (Philippians 3:8 – NIV).”

Pastor Tom