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.

 ***

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

Part 2 is here–https://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.

Almighty Father

“Almighty Father, Son and Holy Ghost, eternal and ever blessed gracious God; to me the least of saints, to me allow that I should keep a door in paradise.   That I may keep the smallest door, the furthermost, the darkest, coldest door, the door which is the least used, the stiffest door.  If it so be but in thine house, O God, if so be that I can see thy glory even afar, and hear thy voice, O God, and know that I am with thee, thee O God.”

A Prayer of St. Columba, 521-597 AD

 

Bryan’s Note

We must travel some distance, before something like this will cling to our hearts.  Columba’s journey to the presence of Jesus most certainly gave him a perspective that enabled him to pray with this intensity and this humility.  We cannot dissuade ourselves of his effort and his overwhelming desire to be near Him.  We can only watch, and mark the zeal which took his heart and soul into the burning presence of His presence.  Columba becomes a guide of what is possible and what is to be sought.  We must become (if we are in pursuit) a people radically changed by the reality of His presence.

 

 

A Mother’s Love- A Father’s Strength

A Mother’s Love –A Father’s Strength

“I will comfort you there

   like a mother

   comforting her child.” 

Isaiah 66:13

 

Communicating your motives and intentions to someone who is at odds with you is not always easy.  When people form opinions and attitudes and it can be very difficult for us to work through them.  Some just don’t worry about what someone else thinks about them.  Others find dealing with misunderstandings to be agonizing.  They care a great deal when someone has a misconception of them, or questioned their motives.

Israel has questioned God’s treatment of them.  They have determined that God has acted capriciously with them and that He can’t be trusted.  They have concluded that He is uncaring and hard to reach.  People build up these misconceptions and ideas and it seems that nothing can set it right.  The book of Proverbs tells us “that a brother offended is harder to win over then a city with walls”.

The tender imagery of a mother holding a child is something we all can visualize and understand.  It has universal wallop.   God specifically chooses that image to communicate what His true feelings are.  He chooses an example that will convey the burdens and thoughts of His heart.

God loves His people.  We often misinterpret or misconstrue His dealings and attitudes.  But God points to the imagery of a mom with a child to say, “That’s me with you”. This particular verse speak of “comforting”.  The word carries the connotation of  “soothing” or “cooing, calming, quieting”.  When a young one is agitated or upset, a mother is typically the only one who can make a difference.

We live in a world that has distorted and belittled God and the church.  We have satanic influences that disturb and defraud many.  The are many ugly misconceptions and fears that confuse the truth.  Many feel that Christianity is a hokey-sham with little to commend it to the real needs of man.  I know for certain that this is not true.

Brokenbeliever, let God remake Himself in your thinking, reading and worship.  Learn to see from His perspective.  Redo and remodel your thoughts and perceptions.  He is waiting with His motherly arms, to sooth and to calm you.  He can be trusted.