I have been reading a lot of posts from friends or acquaintances sharing stories of physical pain through sickness or tragic circumstances, and their experiences and stories hits you right in the heart.
For us who believe in God, pain and suffering are designed to create something in us and through us. It’s meant to transform us and prepare us for what is and what will be.
“The Glory of God is man fully alive,” penned Saint Iraneous – AD 130 to AD 202
In God’s economy, being fully alive means to completely die to sin, flesh and the Devil. Which, is to say that we need to be completely unavailable to the Devil, to sin and to the desires of the flesh. And man, it really hurts to become what we should be, and to become image bearers of God’s Son, Jesus.
We’ve all suffered loss to some extent, and loss through pain and suffering will visit us from time to time. It’s an inevitability and a certainty because we all live in a fallen world.
But, these transitional pressures, whether they be spiritual or physical can even cause weight loss and a reduction to our physical abilities. Not a weight loss program that I’d volunteer for mind you, but this stuff just shows us that at times even our physical bodies change due to pressures of life and out of control circumstances.
God has a glory in mind for each one of us, not just in heaven, but here, and now, and even in the midst of the storm you’re in. The tension between walking in His reflective and intended glory and our sin hiding it or fighting it, brings about seasons of breakdowns. The breakdowns, that is, our crushings, brings the breakthroughs that God has long ago prepared for us.
There is a beautiful placard hanging in the reception area of my office, and it reads:
“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not Protect you”
This means that while God’s glory for your life comes at a price, no matter the cost, God’s grace will aid you and protect you through that cost.
Glory has a price, and the cost is always our will and our flesh. For the Apostle Paul, it meant that he died daily and that he born a thorn in his flesh, not reminding him that’s he’s human, but because he had received amazing and otherworldly revelations. The thorn helped him manage the glory, which God sovereignly bestowed upon him.
And this brings me to you. To the glory that God has planned for you long ago…
Your losses, whether they be your health or even the health of loved ones, or your comforts and the comforts of others is not happenstance, but God’s eternal plan working in you and in others for your good and for God’s glory.
“No man can see God and live,” says Scripture. There is therefore, a cost in being the image bearer of his Son. Jesus said: “The World hates me, and if you follow me, the World will also hate you.”
The “hate of the World,” is not just physical, but psychological and spiritual. The World hates the Messiah and especially his offspring. The World absolutely hates the Glory of God and the Glory of his Dear Son, Jesus Christ, who is The Glory and Righteousness of God.
Therefore the world hates anything in the likeness of Christ and that which reflects his glory.
“And the dragon was in raged with the woman, and went to make war with her offspring, those that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Because of God’s plan for your life and the Glory of your life in Christ Jesus, you’ve become an enemy of the World; of the flesh and especially Devil.
The women of “The View” took a shot at Vice President, Pence’s Christian faith a year or so ago, mocking the former governor of Indiana for talking to Jesus and even calling it a “mental illness.” You see, even in Joy Behar’s uninformed remarks can there be an opportunity to reveal Jesus Christ to the Nations, and that Jesus Christ does speak to all those who belong to him. “My sheep hear my voice.” said Jesus. Even in our suffering can we hear the voice of our Savior and even through harsh remarks from the ladies of The View can bring about God’s glory in his Son, and in you too!
Glory in your tribulations; in your pain and in your sufferings, because of these things, you are being made beautiful and in this beauty lies your glory. So, let the glory of your life shine brightly and hold onto the Word of life; hold onto it with everything that you’ve got!
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Be like Job…
“…But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:10
Glory to glory causes you to glorify God and it is totally worth all you’re going through. All of that Job suffered, was not for nothing, but brought about a glory bestowed and an honor for which we can read about thousands of years later.
…Yes, God restored Job; he restored him to an even greater state than Job could ever have imagined.
Because of Christ, you will, and have already surpassed Job. So remember….
…God’s got this!