May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)
Nowhere does the Bible teach that Christians are to be exempt from the tribulations and natural disasters that come upon the world. It does teach that the Christian can face tribulation, crisis, calamity, and personal suffering with a supernatural power that is not available to the person outside Christ. The early Christians were able to experience joy in their hearts in the midst of trials, troubles, and depression. They counted suffering for Christ not as a burden or misfortune, but as a great honor, as evidence that Christ counted them worthy to witness to Him through suffering. They never forgot what Christ Himself had gone through for their salvation; and to suffer for His name’s sake was regarded as a gift rather than a cross. Christians can rejoice in tribulation because they have eternity’s values in view. When the pressures are on, they look beyond their present predicaments to the glories of heaven. The thought of the future life with its prerogatives and joys helps to make the trials of the present seem light and transient.
Father, help me to go beyond the afflictions and tribulations of our age, and to look toward the inheritance reserved for us in heaven.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. (Romans 8:18 NLT)
From the daily devotional by Billy Graham, posted to YouVersion.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT)
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT)
In an age of instant gratification, greed, and selfishness, we would do well to heed the words penned by Paul to Timothy here:
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV)
Today’s daily verse comes from the Second Epistle of Peter. It is commonly referred to as “The Seven Steps”. Following these “steps” will, God’s Word says a few verses later, assure us that we will never slip from His grace.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. (2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT)