Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good . . . —1 Peter 4:19*
Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will— even if it means you will suffer— is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint’s life.
The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. But the people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us. No one better understands a saint than the saint who is as close and as intimate with Jesus as possible. If we accept the sympathy of another saint, our spontaneous feeling is, “God is dealing too harshly with me and making my life too difficult.” That is why Jesus said that self-pity was of the devil (see Matthew 16:21-23*). We must be merciful to God’s reputation. It is easy for us to tarnish God’s character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate Himself. Beware of thinking that Jesus needed sympathy during His life on earth. He refused the sympathy of people because in His great wisdom He knew that no one on earth understood His purpose (see Matthew 16:23). He accepted only the sympathy of His Father and the angels (see Luke 15:10*).
Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, “God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him.” Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be.
from My Utmost for His Highest
*Peter 4:19: Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
*Matthew 16:23: From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
*Luke 15:10: Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
*Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
*Psalms 8:2: Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
*Psalms 92:14: They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.
‘If only I knew Japanese, then I could go to Japan and serve God there.’ ‘If only I wasn’t a kid stuck in high school, then I could serve God.’ ‘If only I wasn’t addicted, then God could actually use me in some way.’
Thoughts, clichés, so numerous and so wrong. God is the master and creator of all before You. He knew, when the earth was made, that you would be where you are, right now, at this moment. And where you are is no mistake. Neither are your flaws, nor your dreams. And it is perhaps that God does have it in your path to become a missionary; but do not forget to ask yourself, why does God have me here, at this particular place, at this particular moment? You will in fact grow older, but as ‘out of the mouth of babes is ordained strength*,’ and ‘the elderly bear fruit*,’ so are you the particular age God needs you to be right now. And, though your sin may make you feel like you cannot approach God, know that such a feeling is a lie, and remember that He made you, who you are.
Stop thinking about what you need to do in order to glorify God, and instead start glorifying Him as you are, where you are.