Monday, December 7, 2015

A Thought For Discouraging Times

There are times when I am discouraged and I just don't tell anyone but God.

I have learned that God has a way of quickening us. He really does.

"And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' And some of the bystanders hearing it said, 'Behold, he is calling Elijah.' And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, 'Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.' And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." - Mark 15:33-38 ESV

I always thought it was interesting that Jesus cried out to God and it was like He was speaking another language. The bystanders heard Him but misunderstood Him. Still... even though they misunderstood what He said it filled them with expectation to see a miracle.

We aren't Jesus. We aren't saving the world with our sacrificial death. That work has already been done by the only one who could ever do it.

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." - Colossians 1:24-29 ESV

Wow. Somehow we live in the cycle of death, burial, resurrection and session (being seated in Heaven with Christ) now here on the Earth and it is a source of encouragement to the bystander who sees our circumstances.

I sat next to a couple last night and they peacefully worshiped God together but I know a little bit about their hardships. They are many and varied. Perhaps in their own heart language they were saying, 'Oh, God why have you forsaken me?' but what I saw was two people with upturned eyes gazing at Heaven in circumstances where that is not natural. I saw powerful miraculous possibilities because I was in the midst of a group of people that live in this upward spiral. Some of them are tasting the bitterness of death or are in the waiting period of burial and others are enjoying the uplifting sensation of ascension and the peaceful glory of session. In two years the table may turn entirely and the people suffering today will be in a peaceful settled place and those who are experiencing victorious living may face great hardship. That is how it works.

We fill up this moment of history as Christ's representative on the Earth. God makes us ministers of reconciliation in time as He sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. His affliction was more than enough to save all of mankind. We are filled with a taste of His range of experience so that we can communicate the hope of His glory.

The night of Jesus death he dealt with politics, pain and betrayal. He was tried unjustly and bribes were given to people to testify against Him. He had little sleep and little companionship. All these things can discourage us also. If we dwell on secular matters without rest we will get discouraged.

"Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." - Psalm 19:12-14 ESV


So we speak to God voicing our feelings but it doesn't end there. In death and burial we speak of resurrection, ascension and session. Then in victory we will not be forgetful of death and burial.

It is good to talk to people sometimes. We seek wise counsel and it makes all the difference because there may be logistical issues that we need wisdom to deal with. We may need someone to remind us that God is still God and that He has a plan.

God is the One who we can pour out our heart to and He understands completely. Jesus is our wonderful counselor.


1 comment:

  1. This life is full of pain, we absolutely need God's thoughts to manage it, otherwise we will turn bitter and resentful, thank you!