“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the Gospel of God?”— 1 Peter 4:16-17
Arabian horses go through rigorous training in the deserts of the Middle East. The trainers require absolute obedience from the horses, and test them to see if they are completely trained.
The final test is almost beyond the endurance of any living thing. The trainer forces the horses to go without water for many days. And when he turns them loose, they, of course, start running toward the water. But just as they get to the edge, ready to plunge in and drink, the trainer blows his whistle.
These horses that have learned perfect obedience simply stop. They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer. They stand there quivering, wanting water, but they wait in perfect obedience. And when the trainer is sure that he has their obedience, he gives them a signal to go back to drink.
Now many may say this is severe, but when you are on the trackless desert of Arabia and your life is entrusted to a horse, you had better have an obedient horse. In much the same way, we must accept God’s training and obey Him, even if that means we should suffer for His namesake. Obedience must come first in our lives.
So when you’re tempted to find the easy way out through disobedience to God, remember to obey. Trust that He knows what’s best for you and that even if it means suffering, He’ll care for your every need!
Pray that God would give you the strength to obey Him even when it results in hardship.
Questions for thought
Can you think of a time when suffering led you to obedience? How did that affect your relationship with God?
When it seems easier to disobey, what can you do to continue to walk in obedience? How does God show up to give you grace in those moments?