Monday, September 24, 2007

Holy Suffering

The Lord has been bringing something to my thoughts and heart lately and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. Have you ever done that? It's like you KNOW there's something you're suppose to seeing...some truth that has escaped you that you need to "get", can't quite reach it yet. I know that it has something to do with suffering and our response to it, the way we think of it and the necessity (?) of it. As I say I still don't have it all clear in my thoughts, but this exposition from My Utmost for His Highest is part of what I know the Holy Spirit is showing me.
The Holy Suffering of the Saint
Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good . . . —1 Peter 4:19

Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will— even if it means you will suffer— is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint’s life.

The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. But the people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us. No one better understands a saint than the saint who is as close and as intimate with Jesus as possible. If we accept the sympathy of another saint, our spontaneous feeling is, "God is dealing too harshly with me and making my life too difficult." That is why Jesus said that self-pity was of the devil (see Matthew 16:21-23 ). We must be merciful to God’s reputation. It is easy for us to tarnish God’s character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate Himself. Beware of thinking that Jesus needed sympathy during His life on earth. He refused the sympathy of people because in His great wisdom He knew that no one on earth understood His purpose (see Matthew 16:23 ). He accepted only the sympathy of His Father and the angels (see Luke 15:10 ).

Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, "God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him." Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be.

1 comment:

Gumbo Lily said...

This is so good. I'm reading through "MY Utmost..." too and I am always, always challenged. One of the things we've been saying around home lately is "self pity is from the devil" and it's amazing how often self pity happens.