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Surrender, Tasks And Trials Define The Disciple
by Rik Charbonneaux
8/13/2020 / Christian Living
"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV
C.D. Swanson wrote an exceptionally well-defined devotional "Growing Stronger Through Adversity" (published by Faithwriters 08/13/2020) which spoke of the divinely granted strength that we gain by weathering adversity and trials, through which "we can see the outline of “His footprints,” etched clearly in the sand, as we walked through the adversity that afflicted us."*
CD will reach into the hearts of many with that phrase, and the graphic chosen to precede it says it all as well, and prompted me to take a second look at that "strength through adversity":
Some would say that it is the task which defines the disciple, while others would say that it is the willingness to do that task that best defines the true disciple.
If one holds with the latter observation, it is the surrender of one's own will to that of Christ that brings out the true disciple and brings out your best qualities.
This is that strength in weakness that we are told of, for the more one surrenders themselves to Christ, the greater becomes their faith, understanding and maturity to share the gospel with others.
The Lord uses tasks, trials, and circumstances to mature those who are worthy in His service, and these are those who are His most productive instruments.
May we all eventually be defined as such and be counted among them, and may people like C.D. Swanson and efforts like that of Faithwriters continue to give the encouragement to many people to hold to God's truth and love and persevere with it through every trial, knowing and believing that they will be the better for it.
"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 NIV
Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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