God is our Father. He holds our hand when we are struggling or afraid. He cheers us on like a baby taking his first steps. God loves us with an unconditional love and wants the very best for us.
So what is the “very best” that God wants for His adopted children? Is it the same thing that God deemed best for His own Son? Yes, at least to a certain measure. Jesus died an unfathomably painful death on the cross. There are some among us who will also suffer painful deaths like Jesus and His Apostles, just think of the Christians in China.
However, most of us in America will not experience such a horrific experience. And yet, we will ALL suffer some time in our lives. If we endure in the name of Jesus, we will share in His glory. If we maintain a Christian perspective and attitude in the midst of our personal grief and suffering, we could even win some souls to Christ. By living our everyday life and living through personal storms with a Christian peace and hope, God will use our pain to touch others. Our sufferings will be in His name.
The very best for Jesus and God’s adopted children is found in lessons of unconditional love. These love lessons are usually the most painful of lessons, but they also serve as the most meaningful and useful to the believer. We grow in the fruits of the spirit every time we walk through fire holding onto an attitude of Christian love and faith.
GOODNESS and KINDNESS live in the hearts of those who have suffered greatly, as the wounded tend to learn compassion through their misery. GENTLENESS is born out of the adversity that has challenged a believer, but who has then released all hopes for vindication to the power of God. PEACE is a fruit that grows from seeds of trust. LOVE matures as we learn to give up pieces of ourselves for the benefit of others, knowing full well that every piece we loose is replaced by an even more wondrous portion of Christ. JOY comes from knowing God and experiencing His strength during trials. PATIENCE is learned through experiences of long-suffering that allows the saint to move forward on his earthy journey, while always longing for his real home in heaven. FAITHFULNESS means commitment. It is a sold-out attitude and stance that resonates a belief in God’s unquestionable ability to do the impossible. Finally, the believer who suffers in the name of Christ for love’s sake, grows in SELF-CONTROL. With this final fruit, the temptations of the devil lesson and loose their power. We gain strength by gaining self-control.
What is best for the children of God? I say that God’s very best for us involves lessons of unconditional love where suffering is involved. Such lessons deepen our dependence on God and develop our perseverance and maturity in Christ. God helps us every step of the way and never abandons us. The act of love means to think of others first, and for humans that is always painful.
John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”