Our Daily Bread, Thursday, February 21
For our light affliction...worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. -
If we could ask the apostle Paul what he saw as life's greatest blessing, I suspect he would answer something like this: "Personal salvation with its provision of the present and the future." For him, nothing else really mattered. He constantly looked beyond his trials and adversities, sensing the presence of Jesus Christ and rejoicing in the prospect of happiness in heaven with Him.
Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in prison for preaching the gospel. Although his captors smashed four of his vertebrae and either cut or burned 18 holes in his body, they could not defeat him. He testified, "Alone in my cell, cold, hungry, and in rags, I danced for joy every night." During this time he turned to a fellow prisoner, a man he had led to the Lord before they were arrested, and asked, "Have you any resentment against me that I brought you to Christ?" His response: "I have no words to express my thankfulness that you brought me to the wonderful Savior. I would never have it another way." These two men exemplify the supernatural joy that can be experienced by believers who live on the edge of death as the result of being severely persecuted.
Salvation, which brings strength for today and hope for tomorrow, lasts forever. Therefore, we don't have to be defeated by troublesome circumstances. When we know we are saved, we have the assurance that God is at work in our lives, preparing us for the eternal realities of the better world. Yes, salvation is life's greatest blessing. - H.V.L.