In Chapter 14 of Bonhoeffer: A Biography, Dietrich heads to London to take on the pastorate of two German congregations. He desired to keep his hand in practical ministry. While there, many concerned British and German thinkers wondered how to fight the Nazi take-over of the German church with the appointment of Muller as it’s leader or Reichsbischof.
In the midst of their concerns and plans, Dietrich seemed to foresee a time when the only work in the fight against Nazism would be the work of suffering faithfully.
While Hildebrandt, Niemöller, and Jacobi were thinking about how to defeat Müller, Bonhoeffer was thinking about God’s highest call, about the call of discipleship and its cost. He was thinking about Jeremiah and about God’s call to partake in suffering, even unto death. Bonhoeffer was working it out in his head at the same time that he was thinking about what the next move should be with Heckel and the church struggle. He was thinking about the deep call of Christ, which was not about winning, but about submission to God, wherever that might lead. In the letter to Sutz, he said, Simply suffering— that is what will be needed then— not parries, blows or thrusts such as may still be possible or admissible in the preliminary fight; the real struggle that perhaps lies ahead must simply be to suffer faithfully. . . . [F] or sometime [the church struggle] hasn’t even been about what it appears to be about; the lines have been drawn somewhere else entirely. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Bonhoeffer was somehow thinking prophetically, that somehow he could see what was ahead of him, that at some point he would be able to do nothing more than “suffer faithfully” in his cell, praising God as he did so, thanking him for the high privilege of being counted worthy to do so.
Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 196). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
When has suffering been the chief work of your life?
Is there someone you know suffering right now?
How can we come alongside fellow Christians who are called to a time of suffering so that they can be faithful and comforted in their struggle?
The work of redemption is not on man alone–it won’t be incomplete or unfinished. God Himself will come to ensure and complete the work of redemption. –Wil Owens
Acts 1: On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor at Clovis Evangelical Free Church explains in this two-part sermon series how the Holy Spirit not only comforts believers inwardly in all their struggles but also empowers us in the work of sharing the gospel.
It’s true. Every day is an adventure, sometimes beautiful like a vista from a mountaintop. Other times, the trail is obstructed and we find that most of our day is spent climbing over the gnarled tree roots of our daily struggles.
That’s why the very best thing we can do every morning is set our compass afresh. It doesn’t take much to get our thinking off by a degree or two–and we all know the implications of wrong thinking can be great over time. Our own human heart misinforms us. Satan is ALWAYS waiting to misinform us. Others, in their imperfections misinform us. So there is no more important work than setting our hearts aright before we venture off on the day’s journey.
And nothing does that better than the Word of God.
It’s the beginning of a new year and the perfect time to scoot on over to your nearest Bible app and find a daily reading plan that takes you through the Bible in a year. A few months ago I realized that in the busyness of life, I was becoming rusty on my recall of certain Scriptures. Another reason to take myself back to the schoolroom.
For me, the best way to get the Word into my heart is audibly. On a walk. With my dog.
On my Bible app there is a button to press which reads the passage aloud. By the end of my walk I’m as convicted and encouraged as the Holy Spirit desires. Sometimes I’m surprised at what details I had forgotten. Mostly, I am impressed with the awesomeness of God and find it easier to move forward in the day with the resolve to do my work well.
So find a reading plan and a routine that DAILY works for you. Below are some links to reading plans you might like. And may God bless you this New Year!!!
2017 Bible Reading Plans
You can check out plans on the “Bible” app by Life.church on your device OR….
What a beautiful act of hospitality–something to help us remember that there are good people all around us. (As I write this in Uncle Harry’s Bagelry, I realize the person next to me is buying breakfast for someone of lesser means.) My heart is encouraged. I hope yours is to. Let’s pray that we see who God has for us to love this New Year.
The 4th week of Advent is here! The 4th candle is known as the Angel Candle or the Love Candle. May God bless you with His joy as Christmas Day draws closer!
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” ~ Luke 2:10b-11
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~ John 3:16-17