Friday, April 2, 2010

We too live in a fallen world and must participate in its sufferings

Just so you know - most of this post below is from my notes at the Good Friday service this morning. We were late, i'm getting fat from being sick and had trouble finding something to wear - but i was glad we went.

These are my notes:


Mark 8:34

34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life[c] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

We succumb to the crush of the urgent.

We misunderstand Romans 8:28.

In misery we are assured that God is working on our behalf.

Taking up your cross doesn't mean minor irritants.

When we suffer, we are following Jesus, and if we follow Jesus, we will suffer.

No fence sitting during suffering.

Our Christian witness is crucial.

Your suffering is not in vain.

"Pain is God's megaphone" (Don Larson) (I thought i had heard that before - and it was C.S. Lewis i was thinking of : C.S. Lewis once wrote "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - The Problem of Pain)

His Word is a wellspring of life.

Suffering deepens our walk
Suffering creates compassion
and our ability to help others

Look to the one who suffered for you.


Those are all the notes i took - redolent of CS Lewis and Madame Guyon, reminding me of who He is, washing me in the Word...

One of my favourite Good Friday hymns is "Go To Dark Gethsemane" - it has two different melodies, and powerful lyrics for today and for the coming Sunday...

Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter’s power;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see, watch with Him one bitter hour,
Turn not from His griefs away; learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

See Him at the judgment hall, beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned;
O the wormwood and the gall! O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of Christ to bear the cross.

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete.
“It is finished!” hear Him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.

Early hasten to the tomb where they laid His breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom. Who has taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes; Savior, teach us so to rise.

I know it sounds like all is pain and suffering here, and i can assure you that's not true! We are enjoying my husband's week off of work, enjoying the sun as spring tries to peek into our town, enjoying being together, and even enjoying the forced lassitude of sickness in the house. Sickness slows us down, we do less, and we connect more the slower we are going... It's been a slow week, but one filled with pleasure, and i know God is doing a deep work in me this week, and through this hard time. I've changed my signature at the bottom of each email to a Bible verse that encourages me every time i send out a message :

Job 23:10 But he knoweth my way, and trieth me, and I shall come forth like gold

What we are going through is so little compared to so many of my brothers and sisters all over the world. I've been reading "Scared" by Tom Davis on my ipod, and it made me cry, in the GM station, to think of all that some beautiful young believers have to go through - that they have to live in faith only to die still without seeing a realization on earth of God' hand upon them, of His good intentions toward them. They die like Abraham, not seeing the end of their faith on the earth. And i am so blessed. So blessed. But even the little pains that we endure will not be "for nothing". He sees, He hears, and all things He works for my good and for His glory both now and in the world to come...

Spring is coming!

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