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Divine Purpose 

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you"

-1 Peter 4:12

Divine purpose speaks of God working in the world He has created, working in and through those who believe in Him, and working through the gift of His Son which He gave to the world to produce the outcome He desires. Thus, there are a variety of ways one can approach the issue of divine purpose. The passage quoted on the opposite page from Peter's first epistle to the Church focuses on divine purpose as it relates to God working in the life of individual believers. God has a general divine purpose for all men as well as a specific divine purpose for individual believers. 

Just before Jesus ascended back into heaven he told His followers in Acts 1:9 their general divine purpose was to "be witnesses unto me". Put as simply as possible, this meant that their very lives were to be a living manifestation of everything He said about God, about the condition of mankind, about the remedy for the condition of mankind, and about the ultimate destiny of mankind. This was, and remains, an awesome task. For them to carry out that purpose, they would have to be strong, steadfast and unmovable men and women. For us to continue that task we too must be strong, steadfast, and unmovable. Knowing this, the question then becomes how are they, and how are we, going to become strong, steadfast, and unmovable? The answer is God is going to have to make them, and us, strong, steadfast, and unmovable. How is God going to do this?

One of the chief methods God has used down through the ages to fashion men into the type of vessels He needs to carry out His divine purpose is persecution, suffering and hardship. Hardship or persecution forces the believer to depend solely on the grace and power of God and, in the end, strengthens faith. Persecution is used to test the believer to see if he will act in a manner that is consistent or inconsistent with what he says he believes.

Persecution and hardship cannot be avoided because the unbelieving world is opposed to everything to which the believer is to witness about Christ. It was so inevitable in the early Church that Peter wrote the passage quoted above to believers telling them to not think it strange that persecution and hardship should come. Without it God's divine purpose can never be completely accomplished in a believer's life. So don't throw away your faith because you may suffer some form of persecution or hardship, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Stay true to Jesus Christ and know that God will use the hardship or adversity to fulfill His divine purpose in your life. In the end you will be a stronger faith warrior. Suffering, persecution and hardship helps to accomplish God’s divine purpose for your life, so think it not strange when it happens.


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