“This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.” (Psalm 119:50)
Affliction is a necessary component to the life in Christ.
Without affliction, we go astray. Without affliction we “go to seed” as they say.
No one truly seeks pain or suffering. But it is an inescapable process that we must endure in order for the Lord to make us what we should be.
This is how He prepares us for the joys of eternity with Him.
Many times I have been in great pain and distress. And have languished in that state for a long time trying to get some comfort by every conceivable “natural” means.
Then, after much desperation, I’ve gone to His word.
And then He has “quickened” me. He has put life back into me.
The pain does not always subside at that point; sometimes it might even increase. But it is then that He has given me hope. And He helps me to endure.
Until, at some moment, I am surprised that the pain has diminished or is gone!
It is in these moments of pain that the Lord is able to comfort me by supernatural means. To bring me into that “fellowship of his sufferings” that is worth far more than any pain.
It is there that the Lord allows me to see Him in the midst of that fiery furnace – standing beside me. Or walking with me in one of those “shadows” of death I’ve traveled through in my 66 years of life.
We will not see Him miraculously calm the raging winds and waves unless we are with Him in the boat in the midst of the storm.
Only in the midst of the fire can we see Him burn away the many things in our life that actually keep us from truly knowing Him as our Life. All the substitute stuff that we’ve picked up from a thousand different “Christian” sources.
Stuff that has stuck to us like the bristly pods that latch onto us when we get off the wooded path and into the high weeds.
So That the World Can See the Lord and Not Us
The Lord gives us countless blessings in this life. But this life will end soon. Along with all the blessings of this world.
Because this is the time of preparation for those who know the Lord.
Which is all the more reason we must be about our Father’s business – the business of heaven.
In contrast, much that Christians and the church are occupied with has nothing to do with eternity. Despite our high opinion of all our activity.
We are so consumed with making this world a better place. Which it will never be. Because, as we are told in the word, men are becoming worse and worse.
Because that is the true effect that sin has on us all.
Sjn’s corrupting effect compounds continually upon this world. And upon our personal lives.
Which is why our perspective must be, above all other things, to glorify Him. To know Him and His word and to seek His will.
Not the will of our church. Nor the will of the denomination. Not the will of the Coalition or the Association. Nor the will of the pastor or the Sunday school teacher. Nor the will of the famous evangelist or the speaker or the author.
We must learn to seek Him alone. To look for His paths and His ways in this very confusing and distracting Christian landscape.
Only in this way, will the watching world truly see Christ. If we allow Him to do His work in us. To wait on Him as He does that work.
So that the world will truly see the Lord and His stamp of eternity in our lives.
Image by Dirk Hoenes from Pixabay
Leave a Reply