by David Brenneman
Whew...wow...really? These are often our responses...lots of times my responses...to things that catch at least ME off guard. Certainly absolutely nothing catches Jesus off guard.
I've mentioned many things about my life in the variety of posts on here because in those moments God brings them to remembrance and I'm to share what He's done with me, to me, and through me to all who might be helped by hearing of them.
Dr. Charles Stanley made a comment in my Life Principles Daily Bible that "Returning believers to right fellowship is only one of God's purposes for a life storm. Some difficulties are meant to blow away all distractions so that we can focus our attention on the Lord. Other tempests break our worldly mold so that we can be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Our personal pleasure is not the top priority. God's primary concern is to shape a wise and obedient servant who loves Him."
We aren't here for our own personal success, our own personal gratification. We aren't here to have nothing but a life of ease and comfort. As Paul wrote to the various Churches, we're aliens in this world. We are visitors. When you go on a vacation, you may tweak your accomodations to fit you, but you don't renovate and make the hotel your own personal home. When you go to a cabin in the woods, you don't turn into a squatter, you are visiting.
Our walk with Jesus has many purposes. Our sanctification is key. Our becoming more like Christ. For each and every person, it's going to take completely different things to bring this about. At the same time, we DO have a purpose in the body of Christ to fulfill. Our 'why' in doing what we've been called to do is simple: we were bought with a price, we should honor the Lord Jesus Christ for what He did for us to save us.
We should indeed live lives that are useful to our Master. That Master being Jesus. With the exception of one, the Disciples lived lives useful to Jesus. After He suffered, died, arose again from the grave 3 days later, and went on back to Heaven, those same said Disciples became the Apostles, still living in obedience. Still living lives that proclaimed the good news of the gospel to all.
We go through some...well...hellish...things in life. I can point to several times in my life alone where it felt like torture for what I was going through mentally and physically. Sometimes only one or the other.
We are not alone in what we go through. Psalms 23.
We are not meant to stay where the storm is. Psalms 23.
We ARE going to be given more than we can handle. Why? Because we would never see the need for the power of God if we were able to do things on our own entirely. We would never be dependent upon Jesus for each day.
In and of ourselves we would never ever see anything wrong with our lives. We would not see any need for any changes. We would never agree with Jesus that this or that must go. Be honest with yourself here!! You would not agree with Jesus in those painful moments of your life. You would not want to have had to go through them.
We go back to that verse. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, that we might walk in them.
In the physical world some catastrophic accidents require stages of surgeries. Sometimes to allow healing only to break a bone intentionally after healing has began to set it properly. Sometimes it requires sets of surgeries over days, months or even years.
The Spiritual world isn't much different. We have deep seated sin in our lives that gets in the way of our being fully devoted followers of Christ. We can't fathom the correlation between what physically is happening to us and it's Spiritual implications. We can't wrap our minds around it all. We go to the "Why?!" at God before we stop to understand anything. Sometimes we brood about it rather than seeking solace in just being with Jesus about it.
All in all...our lives in Christ are to reflect HIS light...not our own. Sometimes HIS light shows us things in ourselves that we don't want to see as being bad or sinful.
The point of HIS perfect light is to reveal truth. Truth is we have much in us that needs to go in order to be useful to the Master. Pray about your own life. Look at the passage of "Those who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer" differently. Suffering has a purpose just as joy has it's purpose.
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