Seek Out the Gold

In the vault of the Holy Spirit
“He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”
Matthew 13:54, NLT

 

Chapter 13 of Matthew is your very own gold mine.  There are veins of precious ore throughout these parables.  They will give their riches to anyone humble enough to seek them.  They each are concentrated truth–these parables are gold!

Parables are a fascinating way to impart teaching that requires a quiet and gentle heart.  Not everyone will gain access to them.  The truth in them will only touch the hungry heart, the real seeker.  It’s like they are locked up, and the Holy Spirit has the combination, but He will gladly share it with the sincere heart.

At this point in Jesus’ ministry, He arrives in His hometown.  He goes to the synagogue and begins to teach. (What an awesome time to be in the congregation.)  Their teacher Jesus is absolutely astounding!  They stand and watch Him; they are astonished and amazed.  The text tells us that Jesus not only taught them, but He performed supernatural healings.

The people in Nazareth who were witnesses in such a direct way, begin to draw false conclusions about Jesus.  They can’t deal with His youth and can’t believe what He has come from God–as their Messiah. 

However the general consensus was profound;  “everyone” was in agreement with what they had just witnessed.  For a few, they would never be the same.  When we encounter Jesus, and hear His wisdom, and see His wonders–it has the power to change us.  And that is no mean feat.

Even More Victory in Our Affliction

 

Reach for the tape

 So we plow on in this miniseries on “Victory in Our Affliction”. 

This is part 3.

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Part 1 is here–http://brokenbelievers.com/2010/09/23/victory-in-the-middle-of-affliction/ 

Part 2 is here–http://brokenbelievers.com/2010/10/19/more-victory-in-our-affliction/ 

*****

Can Our Pain Produce Anything Good?

Our pain tells us we are growing in Christlikeness.  When we hurt often the Lord will draw quite close, with pain focusing our eyes to see Him, others and His Kingdom.  It is far from pleasant.  Diamonds are produced in confinement and pressure.  Our faith is like a precious jewel ‘in the making’. Gold has to be refined to make it pure .  “I tested you in hard times just as silver [or, gold] is refined in a heated furnace.” Isa. 48:10.  Both diamonds and precious metals have to be worked on before they are recognized as authentic.  Often, it will be a blast furnace of affliction.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”  2 Cor. 4:17, NKJV

“These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.” 2 Cor. 4:17, CEV

We can hold a sense that our different afflictions are actually our employees who work for us.  They ‘prompt’ us for what we need at any given moment.  For example, we need to grow in love.  What does God do?  He sends us very difficult and frustrating people for us to love.  He sends us His best for us!  Our lessons are given to guide us into a Christlike identity.

The natural impulse is to regard our affliction as eroding our faith, or degrading it.  But the opposite is true.  Affliction is like the weight bars waiting for us in the gym.  The bar and weights do not have an agenda or impulse to defeat me.  They are there to help me.  The gym is a wonderful metaphor for us to grasp spiritual things.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.”  Romans 5:3, KJV

The word ‘patience’ simply means ‘endurance’.  And it seems we are starting all over in thinking that afflictions are evil, and to be avoided and rejected.  But actually the opposite is true!  We deal with the pain and frustration knowing it is working in us a ‘concentrated form of glory.’

“Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”  James 1:3 

Essentially it is all ’cause and effect’ with our provisional acceptance to the Lord’s good intention, we let Him have His way with us.  It hurts, some may call it brutal, but it seems to be the only way for God to make us ready for eternity.