November 14, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 November 2017
At the turn of the century, codfish were in much demand on the northeast coast. News of the appetizing fish spread across the country, and soon they were also in demand on the west coast. Codfish taste best when they are the freshest. The problem was how to transport the fish across the country and still keep them fresh. Freezing was the quickest method for sending the fish from one coast to the other, yet they lost too much flavour in the process. When the codfish were transported live in huge saltwater aquariums, they were mushy and tasteless.
A solution arose when realizing that catfish are the natural enemy of codfish. Catfish were placed in the tanks, so they would chase the codfish while they were being transported. When the codfish arrived, they were flaky and had the same flavour as when they were caught fresh on the east coast. We all need "catfish" that encourage us to persevere so we are not hackneyed and passive in our spiritual maturity. Challenging people and situations may not always be pleasant, yet God can use them to keep us spiritually mature and vigorous.
First Peter 4:19 – Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
God’s people never suffer accidentally or as the result of overpowering forces of blind nature. Sufferings occur “according to the will of God,” which is why believers “shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Pet 4:19). The idea of “entrust” is committing yourself for preservation in safety. The lives of God’s people are entrusted to the all-loving and faithful God.
The adjective “faithful” reminds God’s people of the Creator’s love and power, even in the midst of pain and suffering. God created all that exists, and the Lord has faithfully decreed and sustained creation since the foundation of the world. God’s faithfulness is reason why his people can trust Him to fulfil his promises to them. God ordains the moon and the stars (Ps 8:3) and can also uphold our “right hand” the same (Isa 41:13). God is able to calm the raging sea, and also whatever rages in or around our lives (cf. Ps 65:7; 107:29; Matt 8:23-27). If the Lord God is able to oversee the forces of nature, then He certainly can help, strengthen, and uphold his people through whatever obstacles may arise (Isa 41:10).
God is faithful, thereby enabling his people to continue “doing what is right” (1 Pet 4:19), which means doing what the Creator specifies as good. God’s Word encourages his people to depend upon his care and thus have the determination to persevere. There is no better comfort in sufferings than the good and perfect will of God. Knowing the Creator’s faithfulness means there is a limitation to life’s difficulties – both in terms of the duration and intensity – because God determines the extent of sufferings and maintains those confines.
Believers can know that suffering is only for their good. Challenges in life are like a refiner’s fire in removing all that is worthless, and they foster greater closeness to the Lord and make his people more dependent upon Him. In all life situations – the good and the bad – God’s assures his people they are not alone, and can depend upon the care of a faithful Creator. God’s people can “keep on rejoicing” in the fellowship of a Saviour who also suffered (v. 13), and can delight in the continual presence of “the Spirit of glory” who rests upon them (v. 14).
Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.