Friday, August 15, 2008 4:35 a.m.
Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “Without darkness and pain, we will not be transformed into the image of Christ. His was the way of pain” (Gateway to Joy Newsletter). None of us want pain. We all want comfort and bliss. But even Christ had to suffer pain. If there was a way to save souls without pain and suffering, don’t you think the Father would have found it for His Son? But no; Christ had to suffer and die. Two disciples on the road to Emmaus were walking and talking together with Jesus, but they did not recognize Him. They told Him of all the pain and suffering Jesus had to endure. Jesus answered, “…fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and enter into his glory.” (Luke 24:25-26). The only path for forgiveness of sin is through the pain of Christ’s shed blood. We are bought with a price, and that price was Christ’s own blood. Amy Carmichael asked the question, “Is there no way of learning how to help another but by the way of suffering? The answer was, No!…Wouldest thou win souls without a pang?” (His Thoughts said…His Father said, p. 25).
Monday, March 19, 2007 4:00 a.m.
When one of Amy Carmichael’s beloved workers came down with Bright’s disease, she called it, “another of those grave trials which give us a chance to prove the things we believe” (A Chance to Die, p. 235). Isn’t that powerful? I never really thought of trials quite that way before. I always saw trials as a testing of our faith, a lesson to help us trust the Lord more, or an avenue of providing a platform to proclaim God’s grace; but, never did I see trials as a chance to prove those things we believe. It reminds me of a poem I wrote many years ago when facing a trial.
When what we know in our heart and mind goes deeper than our pain. Tis then we know the love of God transcends through all the same.
Without trials our faith would be shallow and weak. Trials are God’s way to deepen our walk with Him, to associate believers with Christ, to glorify Christ; and yes, to prove what we believe.
Thought for Today: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:7).
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 4:10 a.m.
Isaiah 53:3 says that Jesus was “despised.” Can you imagine how hard it would be to be despised? We all want to be loved, or at least liked; yet, Jesus was despised. I don’t think I’ve ever really been despised. I’ve been not liked, but never despised to the point of being put to death, and even the death of the cross. Isaiah 53:3 says, Jesus was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Aren’t you glad that we have a God who knows what we are going through? He knows and He cares. None of us can fully comprehend the sorrow and grief Jesus suffered on the cross. And what is worst is that we don’t care. Isaiah 53:3 says, “and we esteemed him not.” We all want comforted in our sorrow and grief; yet, Jesus was spit upon and smitten. “Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4). The saddest thing of all is that not only we smote Jesus, but so did His Father. He was smitten by God. For “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). That hurt Jesus more than we can understand. Never before in all of eternity was Jesus, the Son, separated from God, the Father. But because our sins were laid upon Jesus, God the Father had to turn His back on Him. Can you imagine having someone turn their back on you in the midst of your pain, even when you are dying. How heart-wrenching that would be, especially if it was your father whom you were close too and loved. This type of gut-wrenching sorrow and grief cuts to the bone and brings one to death. O Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for causing You such pain. Forgive me for my sins.
Thought for Today: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6).