Nothing can bring us to our knees like a season of pain.
This is the place where romanticism ends and realism begins.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
Once we know the Lord as our Savior, we must understand that God is not in the Re-hab business.
God makes men New. He doesn’t try to make “the old man” better. He makes an entirely new man.
Unfortunately, the watching world may not always see clear evidence of that change in our lives. Because we are too often distracted with trying to fix up our “old nature”.
Not realizing that it is impossible to do so.
The worst problem we face as believers is self confidence.
Talk about a direct conflict of principles between the world and the Bible!
The world teaches us the opposite of that. To have self esteem. To have self confidence. To love ourselves. And to push ourselves forward as much as possible.
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
We need our daily bread and we need the Bread of Life.
We need our daily water and we need the Living Water.
We are spiritual beings requiring more than physical nourishment. We need supernatural food in order to live supernatural lives.
My local church is doing a series of sermons this Christmas season on Joy. As in “Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King!”
That is something that we hear every year which probably just moves us for a moment and then passes by. Others hearing those words may be drawn into deeper despair. Especially those dealing with chronic physical pain, deep depression or any number of problems that just don’t seem to subside.
There is little point in brow-beating people over their depression. As when people say, “Why are you depressed? Stop it! You are a Christian and should be joyful.” Which always works amazingly when people say that stuff to us.
“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)
When Jesus said this, he was not breaking people out into groups of sick folks versus well folks.
What he was saying is that either people see that they are sick or they do not. Because people that think they are OK do not go to the doctor. Generally speaking.
The problem is, all men are sick; and all men need The Great Physician.
Or, more specifically, all men are sinners; and all men need The Savior.
Christ cannot save a man that will not see his need. A man must be willing to see his need.
A man chooses to face his need or he does not. He chooses to see himself as God sees him; or he chooses to live in a fantasy world.
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us: (II Corinthians 1:8-10)
They keep telling us that we will not be pushed beyond what we can bear. I beg to differ.
God will take us to the place where we can only trust in Him.
Where nothing is left but Him.
It is there, in that desolate place, where He will show us how He is all that we will ever need.
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke they disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luke 19:39-40)
Here is one of the most beautiful scenes in the New Testament. One of those few moments when the Lord was recognized, in some small way, for Who He is.