Sharing in His Sufferings 8
Sharing in His Sufferings 8
Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. (Hosea 6:1—NIV)
It is worth having the Lord tear us apart, because when He binds us up it is such a blessing. This is easy to say once we have been through the Divine fire, but the program of redemption can be very demanding while we are going through it.
The following verses tell us the barren woman has become the new Jerusalem.
O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. (Isaiah 54:11,12—NIV)
So it is that, as the Apostle Paul says, our momentary affliction is creating for us an indescribably great, eternal weight of glory. We simply are unable to imagine the wonders that the Lord God has prepared for those who love Him, who wait patiently for Him while religious men plot, scheme, and work feverishly in order to secure their own advancement. They always will scorn the humble of heart who look only to Jesus. They always will seek to murder the Lord's Christ wherever He appears. This you can expect.
All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. (Isaiah 54:13,14—NIV)
Much of our life on earth is filled with dread, with fear, with terror. One of the happiest thoughts of our future with the Lord is that all terror and dread will be far removed from us and never come near us again.
While the expression "great will be your children's peace" may possibly be speaking of our spiritual children in the future, I think we might be safe in claiming this promise for our children in the present world. This particular promise has been a comfort to me and my wife.
The Lord stores up good things for those who wait patiently for Him.
If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. (Isaiah 54:15—NIV)
The Bible tells us that whoever departs from iniquity makes himself a prey. In many instances in the Bible the prophets and saints were the prey of the Israelites themselves. Look how the men of Anathoth sought to kill Jeremiah, and how he was treated by the nobles of Israel!
We do not necessarily incur the wrath of other Christians when we make a profession of Christ. It is when we actually depart from sin and begin to practice righteousness that the trouble commences and we are called hypocrites, Pharisees, legalists, and whatever else comes to mind. It is always this way with Israel!
It is so today. When we turn from the typical church foolishness and begin to seek the Lord earnestly, we may find that the other Christians will scorn us. It doesn't matter. All that truly matters is God's opinion of us.
To be continued. Sharing in His Sufferings 9