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“For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know” (1 Thessalonians 3:4).

Have we not heard that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and the hope of Christ has therefore been poured into us?  Do not be surprised at the hostility in this world, for the world continues to hate the Lord.  Hear what is told you beforehand so that when it comes to pass you may stand firm in the faith that You have been given.

Lord, all things are in Your hands.  They always have been and always will be.  Lead me, O Lord, to not react to circumstances, but see that You are here with me.  Guide me Lord so that I may stand firm in the truth of Your presence and purpose.  In spite of what happens to me in this world, lead me to learn to be faithful in, through and above all things.  Whatever afflictions may come, guide me to hold fast to You.

Lord Jesus, You know affliction.  The world has hated You from the beginning.  But in You and through You the world is knitted together and has its being.  Let me no longer hold to this world but be transformed by Your goodness and mercy.  Lead me in Your grace to hold fast to You no matter what affliction comes so that I may now and always be known as one who believes in You and all that You have done.  Amen.

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