When we suffer any kind of trial or sorrow we must consider:
• Do I proclaim my lack of faith to the World by feeling sorry for myself, complaining, blaming, reacting negatively or responding harshly when I suffer? Do I attempt to pray it away?
• Or like Paul and Timothy, do I consider it pure joy when I face trails (James 1:2-8, 12) and rejoice in my suffering, proclaiming to the World that I trust and honor Father (1 Peter 1:6-9) in all things:
In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We live close to death, but we are still alive. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything (2 Corinthians 6:4-10).
In the face of the cross, Jesus said, Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will (Mark 14:36). Obviously, it was not the Father’s will that Jesus be rescued from suffering. Instead, the Father’s will was and still is that we be “delivered from this present wicked World.” This isn’t to say that we will be removed from the World. Rather, as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus we are delivered from responding in ways that reflect the darkness of it.
So… what happened that caused our horses to be so confused? I was taught to always stand behind the implement in order to prevent getting trapped between it and the horses. I did this. I was also taught to fasten the reins to the implement in order to give the horses a sense of tension so that they don’t pull ahead until I am ready. I did this. What I wasn’t aware of is; if I don’t leave a bit of slack in the reins when I fasten them and begin to mount the implement, my weight on the back of the implement will pull the reins more tautly, signaling to the horses that I want them to back up! Not doing so lead to suffering!
While scripture tells us, if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well (James 3:1-3), it never directs us to steer clear of suffering by attempting to live righteously! The reality is… we don’t have such power over the reins in our lives! Thinking that we do just might get us plowed over!
It never entered my mind that this event was a result of how unrighteous I might be. If suffering was dished out according to how righteous we are, we’d all be burning in hell! What I did consider however is this, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). My greatest desire in all of this was to boast of the things which show my weakness (2 Corinthians 11:30) because I knew that in my weakness my Lord’s power was being demonstrated!
In my weakness I was reminded, “There is only One Who reigns over all” and I wanted to proclaim this to anyone who asked me, “What happened?”
P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: http://whole-heartedlife.blogspot.com/. You may also contact me at:
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
505 Jefferson St.