There are many things wrong in our lives. Some of them are spiritual some of them are physical and some of them are mental. We have wrong thinking. Thinking wrong thoughts can put us in the trashcan. Thoughts are extremely powerful. What we think is what we are. Notice what you think about when you are alone. Our thoughts when we are alone indicate whether we are handling ourselves well. In many cases we let negative thoughts dominate when we are suffering. We blame God. We blame ourselves. We play much spouses. Blame the closest person to us. We blame the dog.
It can’t be harder than the pain itself. I often ask my classes do you trust God. Oh yes they said, Have you surrendered everything that you have even your physical pain. Oh boy! That stops them. in their tracks right there many times many times. Why is that? NO! no that’s wrong. We have a loving, living, sweet, strong, God! Yes! God is much more than that, i’ll tell you why, we don’t trust him. We think God is going to change our lives. We think he’s going to ask us to do something we do not want to do. We are already in the duck soup. We’re already boiling over. We think that we can’t get any deeper, we think that God will get us deeper. That’s why we don’t truly surrender, But he IS a loving, kind, sweet, gentle, God. He proves this over and over in my life even with the physical suffering that I undergo. He is so present. Jesus is so present with me. That’s why I love Him because even in the pain he’s right here right here with me fulling HIS PURPOSE. Uuum. . . Yes! I said HIS PURPOSE.
Now to THE CHALLENGE
THE CHALLENGE comes in two parts
1. Those who LOVE God
2. Those who are called according to His purpose
Both hearts apply to us equally.
“ We know that all things work together for the good to those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”
LOVE GOD: The first challenge
There’s the first challenge right there in verse 28. Let’s look at what we know of things that work together for good. If we stop right there we don’t accept either see both challenges. we don’t except the word of God. We stay looking for selfish things from God thinking that all things work together for good no matter what we do.
Deuteronomy 6:4,5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.”
Sounds like a commandment/challenge to me. How about you? How does that sound to you?
This is the great commandment. Jesus called it the great commandment. It is the first commandment. God commanded us to love him. loving God is one of the differences that Christians and Jews have from all other religions. It is intimacy with God to love him. He loved us first. We will see that in versus 29 and 30. But here we are commanded to love him to return the love that he has for us. He wants to be with us. He wants us to love him back We do this primarily as Jesus told us to enter into our private chamber. Enter into our closet, So that we can be alone with God; alone with Jesus. There is where our inner being changes. Western country singers sing about Jesus; preachers preach about Jesus; people talk about Jesus. But that’s not the Jesus that you meet in your inner chamber. You will learn to love and you’ll fall in love with Jesus that you meet alone in your inner chamber. Here you will find how to love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. You will find that you have accepted the FIRST CHALLENGE.
CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE: The second challenge
One of the best places to find the purpos(es) of God is the model prayer in Matthew 6. “Therefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.”
It talks about the holiness of God. When translated it’s really saying that we should make God’s name holy throughout the earth. How do we do that. The first thing we do is evangelization. Getting the word of God, getting salvation God has provided through Jesus Christ out to the world. Yes, you may think I can’t do that. My father thought that. He often said that. The thing is you don’t have to personally go to the mission field, or to be an evangelist, or try to win everybody to Christ. Romans 8 talks about living the Spirit filled life. When you go into the inner closet to meet with Jesus you will find how to live the Spirit filled life. It is Jesus living in you that does the work. The Holy Spirit of Jesus will show you what you are to do to fulfill the purpose of God in your life at any given moment. It is a moment by moment life. I can fall away from living the Spirit filled life. When I fall away from living the Spirit filled life through sin I must confess my sin as soon as possible (1st John 1:9)
“ if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I have a next thing that we say in this passage is for God‘s kingdom to come and his will to be done. What does that mean God‘s kingdom to come? It’s simply means that the rule and reign of God through Jesus comes to the earth through Uli as Christians filled with the spirit of Jesus. We let Jesus live and move and work in us. We are his instruments, His tools, and even his weapons on this earth. Now, that’s pretty exciting if you ask me. we can bring the rule and reign of God through the filling of the spirit into families into neighbors into friends into churches into our politics it’s it’s it’s amazing! Yes I’m stammering I’m stuttering it’s incredible and it’s wonderful!
So you ask, what has all this got to do with suffering. Well, read Romans 8:16 and 17.
Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that[k] we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
That’s right. We join the suffering of Jesus to save the world. We are asked to join him in his suffering that’s his plan and purpose. We can join him in saving the world through suffering. All we have to do is offer it up. there is a prayer for this. Heavenly Fathet, I offer You this suffering in union with Jesus and purposes for……. Put a name in here. You can pray for soooo many people this way and join them with Jesus in prayer
1 Corinthians 1 “3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our affliction,[b] so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.”
I hope this has been a blessing to you.
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Don’t for camp. Stay tuned to the Holy Spirit!