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Shaped Through Trials – Made Perfect in Weakness

April 3, 2013

“You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.” Dan. 2:34

So it was that “the God who reveals secrets” revealed King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to Daniel. This part of the dream speaks of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and how He would be fashioned by God Himself, not by man. Suffering in obedience to His Father’s plan was an essential tool God used to shape (perfect) His Son. The writer of the book of Hebrews testifies that “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Heb. 5:8-9)

Our Lord was actually “made perfect” by the things which He suffered. He was never imperfect, but the successful completion of His journey on earth brought about the completion of what God had purposed before the world began; and He did it perfectly. (II Tim. 1:9; John 17:4; Heb.4:15; II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:22)  The point here is that suffering through obedience to His Father was critical to Him carrying out His mission... perfectly. And for all those who “obey Him,”  we also suffer various trials (II Tim.3:12). And in the same way that our Lord was perfected by continuing to yield to the Spirit through His suffering on earth, so we can be. This is the sanctification process on earth. James the brother of our Lord wrote that it is through “patience” in suffering trials that we are made “perfect and complete, lacking NOTHING.” (Jam. 1:2-4)

Obedience through suffering is a necessary part of the equation for continuing sanctification and a righteous life – especially if we pursue becoming “perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) This kind of suffering is not something that should ever be laid on a brother or sister from another, but rather it is a natural response from the world as we shine as His light in the world. Brothers and sisters are to relieve one another in suffering when possible, “bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

And so the persecuted church is one that is increasing in number, and it shall continue to increase until suffering for true Christians is present all around the world. (Rev. 6:9-11) Then our Lord will come for the bride that He has made “ready,” “complete,” “perfect,” “without spot or wrinkle,” or even a “blemish”! (Eph. 5:27)

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Cor. 12:9-10)

Let us let Him make us ready for that glorious day when we shall shine even as He shines!

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