Joy In Suffering

Tiny white needles pierced my frosted hands as I reached for the juicy red strawberry’s hiding behind the foliage.

It was torturous. After getting out of bed before sunlight and driving bleary eyed through the fog to the strawberry farm, a small somber crowd of workers slowly climbed out of their heated cars and trudged their way towards the rows of torture.

It was back breaking work, and you’d wish you could join your friends down the beach as the sun began to melt the ice and clear the skies of the lingering grey.

But in the end, the suffering was all worth it. My bank account was building, and these few months of hard work would set me up for another year of study in the city.

Although we all want to avoid suffering, there is a type of suffering we will endure due to the rewards that come in the long run. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica to encourage them in the way they endured the suffering they were facing:

‘You welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit’ – 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NIV)

Despite the unrelenting suffering, they had an endurance that was so remarkable they became an example to other believers:

‘You became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia… your faith in God has become known everywhere… They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God’ (1:7-9)

They faced all kinds of hardship as they refused to follow the popular culture. They lost business opportunities, friendships and reputations, and most likely suffered physical pain. But despite all this, the Holy Spirit gave them the joy and strength to endure as they continued to hold on to an eternal perspective:

‘You… wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath’ (1:10)

In the same way, as we gain an eternal perspective and are filled with the the joy Holy Spirit gives, we will also have the capacity to endure even the greatest of opposition as we trust in Him!

#evrlyf #50DaysWiththeHolySpirit #iphonephotography #strawberryfarm #dailydevotions #inspiration

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