Those awful circumstances and situations we don’t want…. when it’s HARD to give Thanks – how do we come to a place of peace and yieldedness ?
What Did Jesus understand that we haven’t yet?
In Hebrews 12:2 Scripture tells us :
“…for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame …
The JOY that was set before Him???
Have you ever really pondered this? What was that Joy?
- That He would, once, and for always, overcome EVIL – the deceiver, the enemy who only ever kills, steals and destroys – to render him powerless, so that WE could overcome him
- That He would provide a place, a way to deal with our sin, greed and utter selfishness – once and for always
- That He would open the way for us, His beloved, to come to Him freely, personally, intimately – now, here on earth
- But also eternally, never to be separated from Him, His love and Goodness ever again
Oh ! How can mere words ever describe the depths and wonder of the JOY He knew was before Him – not only for Him, but for US!
… But only after He had endured this unspeakably horrible suffering.
He knew and lived this truth
…For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
The trouble is – that we don’t have this perspective.
Our focus is on the here, now. We think only in the short term – the trials, and suffering. The short term pain and discomfit. The loss and grieving – as though it will endure forever.
Our focus is the NOW – this life, this earth – and our comfort and happiness. No-one wants suffering, loss, pain, or discomfit. It’s not what we call ‘Good’
So – by this reasoning, we ask. “How can a GOOD God allow us to suffer? How can He allow sickness, loss, pain, shame – things that go wrong. Things that don’t go MY WAY? “
“If He’s GOOD – can’t He stop these things?”
YES of course He can. But our happiness and comfort here, in this sin-, selfish- and sickness-ridden life is NOT His focus. No, His focus is on
“the eternal glory that far outweighs then all”
years beyond years that will make this suffering seem like a light and momentary trouble – the blink of an eye
The reward! Freedom from our self, our limitations, the reward of close intimacy with Him and everything our heart could desire – forever
That Far Outweighs:
not balances, or makes it an even exchange, but FAR OUTWEIGHS. God always exchanges upwards.
If we could understand the exceeding, abundant, above and beyond exchange that God is promising – and keep our eyes focused on that…
Then I believe we could give thanks in all circumstances!
So it seems we have two choices…
1. To resist, refuse and rail against those unwanted circumstances or situations we don’t want
To this, Jean –Pierre de Caussade says:
“You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies – though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet God’s beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is”
2. Like Jesus – to yield, to accept – NOT MY WILL, but YOUR WILL be done – for the JOY set before us, to endure this trial, believing that:
“… our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
(2 Corinthians 4:17)
So let us then …
Give THANKS in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18:)
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