In this day when I seem to be scratching my head quite often regarding the things that I am going through, I’ve been reminded of the numerous warnings given to us all about the trials and tribulation, sorrow and pain, which many of us must experience so as to be prepared as vessels in whom the Lord will come and manifest Himself with power and glory.
Many Christians today in their immaturity have attributed to the devil most all of the things that bring sorrow and pain into their lives, but one need only to read the book of Job without pre-bias to come face to face with the One Who is behind all sorrow. This is not to say that the devil may not be an unwitting instrument for the application of that particular working of God, but in that working, there is a transforming instrumentality of sorrow that is obvious to the message of Job.
Dear ones, for some folks, sorrow and pain might be the instrument of God to lead them into the outer courts of salvation where they can fall into the arms of their loving heavenly Father and find mercy and grace in their time of need. In Job’s case however, and in the case of those who are now progressing on into the Holiest of All in their pursuit of God, sorrow and pain can attend a breakthrough into a level of greater spiritual maturity, and this, many times, even worked into hearts in the midst of brethren who cannot understand nor attribute to the workings of God such pain and anguish. Oh, this is such a tough work!
Now, I don’t particularly like going through the things that I have continually been taken through (for years), but I KNOW that this is all a necessary part of the second work of Christ’s Atonement, even my preparation as a divine “habitation” for the Lord. I also know that TRIUMPH IN CHRIST is demonstrated (on earth and in heaven) when the Father’s worth is magnified in my heart above ALL other things through suffering. Surely, this is the Wisdom of the Cross, and is certainly that which seems like foolishness (or insanity) to most people today.
With regard to all of this, beloved, may we all learn to rest in the sovereignty of our heavenly Father even in the midst of all sorts of tribulation, suffering and pain, for in this way we offer to our Father a sacrifice of praise as we demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God (in the Cross), this not only to the church and to people on earth, but even to “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”
Along these same lines, please consider that when Paul said “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church…” he was expressing the need for a profound demonstration of the way of the Cross in Christ’s disciples, something that was apparently lacking in much of the church of his day, and something that is almost nonexistent in the church of today.