The great poet and educator, Archibald Rutledge, wrote about how he once met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened.

Faithful dog

Because he worked outdoors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest.

His faithful friend understood, and that’s exactly what he did.

So when a fire started in the woods and soon spread to the spot where the dog had been left to stay, the faithful companion didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word.

When it comes to obedience to God, do you cower down when things heat up? Or do you, like that dog, remain steadfast, endure faithfully, even if it means suffering, even death?

In this life, the Bible never promises an easy path.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

There are times when staying true to our Master will cause you to encounter hard times. Yet through them all, we’re given the simple promise that no matter what happens, God is with us.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Maybe today, you know God is asking you to follow Him in a certain way that will lead to hardship. If so, obey. 

Be joyous, even—!?!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

When you do, you can be sure that the reward you’ll receive will far outweigh any suffering:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

Prayer Challenge: Pray and tell God that you’ll follow Him, no matter where He calls you— and ask Him for the strength to do it. Give Him your life and surrender to His will, confident that His will is your peace— your only peace possible.

[adapted from]


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