Furthering Thoughts for April 1st 2019.
The seemingly paradoxical nature of rejoicing in suffering….yet we read in Romans 5, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
The microscope gets too big sometimes. So big….Has that ever happened to you? I know for myself, this is awfully true more than I care to admit. The microscope on suffering is so overwhelming at times that we “can’t see the forest for the trees”. Yes, so deep we become in our suffering that we fail to see the big picture.
And yes, we get so bogged down into the details, majoring in the minors, that though we have heard, read, meditated on scripture, particularly in Romans 5…suffering…to endurance..to character..to hope, we get enveloped in the suffering at hand to the point where we are unable to see anything else.
There are many moments in life for all of us…when things are simply overwhelming to the point of despair but even through it all, “we don’t give up when discouraged”. I’m not saying we need to “pull up our bootstraps” and charge through by our own steam. But indeed , we never give up, we never give in because our faith and hope is never in ourselves but in our Lord Jesus Christ. And we know this is absolutely true.
Yet when the object of our hope is displaced,[indeed, Satan is quite the sage] there we go to the place of terror, void, and despair. Because without the true object of our hope we will try to pull up the bootstraps and grind through the pain and suffering, just hoping we will make it out. All the meanwhile forgetting the hope-filled promise in Christ.
This life of isolation/separation always reminds me of Tom Hanks and Wilson, in Castaway. And so too, do we [more than we admit] fend for our lives as if there is no one else but ourselves to trust. But in this approach to suffering, we try to stand, yet like a house of cards, we wither, fade, crumble and fall.
In the midst of suffering, our hope is in the Good Shepherd. “And though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me”[Ps23]. This is our hope. Outside of ourselves, dependent on the Lord, justified by His work, death overthrown, sins forgiven, eternal life and victory abound as the Holy Spirit calls us [by His word] to this one true faith.
So yes, we rejoice in suffering, because Christ has suffered on the Cross bearing our sin and every suffering sorrow. Yet three days later, His resurrection is our hope-filled rejoice!. For “hope does not put us to shame” [Rm5], because Christ resurrection is our hope above all.
Keep on, endure on, live on in the name of Christ. Through all things you are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ![Rom8].
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”[Gal2:20]. This is our hope. Thanks be to God!
Have a great monday! Enjoy it in the name of the Lord!
PS. If any of you ever need a visit, or specific prayer, please let me know. As a body of Christ, we are in this together. I’m here for you. Always only a phone call, or text away 🙂