With my blog I’m quick to share the beautiful things. But sometimes you just gotta face the ugly. And after speaking with so many loved ones this week, I feel a pile of suffering going on around us.
So today especially I feel like I need to share how human and weak I am
that I am not without hope.
It hurts being human. Badly.
The broken relationships, distant relationships, wounded relationships
The pressures, responsibilities, expectations
The screw ups, weaknesses, incompetency
The pride and selfishness within us that seem to corrupt everything
The painful surprises, the “curve-balls” that hit us in the gut, the yet-another-burden
I felt like I was simultaneously feeling every-single-one of those things last night, and I’d had it.
I was crying out Romans 7:24-25 to the Lord:
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
In that overwhelmingly deep weariness, I was just ready to be face-to-Face with my Lord.
But there is meaning and a reason that I should suffer. There is a part of me lacking and festering, and the Lord knows this and loves me – so He brings the refinement.
“For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.’ It is for discipline that you endure… but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Hebrews 12:6-7, 10-11
Even Christ Jesus, Son of the living God, Sovereign over all the universe was Himself perfected through suffering, listen!
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”
We suffer to become more like Him.
Look again at Hebrews 12 “that we may share in His holiness”
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not despairing; Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
Because in the middle of pain, sin, and death – we as children of God that have called on the Name of Christ Jesus and His victory on the cross for SALVATION – find in the middle of all this rottenness
and a peace
that are indescribable.
“For I have redeemed you,”
We know that there is a reason we suffer. We know that we will be better because of our suffering. We know that Christ empathizes with our suffering. We know that Christ lifts us before the Father in our suffering.
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Hebrews 2:14-15, 18
“Hence, also, [Christ] is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
“In hope against hope he believed…yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.”
Romans 4:18, 20-21
“…for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’”
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?”
“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry…that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him…”
“I have called you by name;”
Scripture isn’t all you can do, it is the most you can do. You have a fierce and deadly enemy, and you must utilize your weapon of Scripture, the breath of God, that is even more powerful.
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith…”
I Peter 5:8-9
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Let me say this again, if you feel under attack –
it’s because you are. Fight.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”
“... The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
“Sustain me according to Thy WORD, that I may LIVE.”
You will make it through. He knows you can make it through this. The ugly will be made beautiful.
“For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.”
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
I Corinthians 10:13
“Everything that can endure fire, you shall put through fire,
and it shall be clean.”
“You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.”
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
He is with you.
“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’”
“Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to gory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? An besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
You have victory.
“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
I Peter 5:10
“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
II Corinthians 15:54-58
“You are mine.”