Our Afflictions Aren’t Arbitrary

February 22

“O my Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Matthew 26:39

Most people don’t understand what a cross in a believer’s life IS. It isn’t a hardship. It’s not something to strengthen us. A cross is what one dies on. it’s something to bring us down to death, to complete and utter surrender. That is where God meets us and brings …resurrection.

Sometimes the cross set before us seems too much to bear. Even Jesus said, “if possible let this cup pass from me.” But wisdom teaches us that God never arbitrarily imposes bad things upon us, but instead uses our afflictions FOR us, with PURPOSE, turning it all to our good if we willingly submit …as Jesus did.

“…looking unto Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the JOY that was set before Him
ENDURED THE CROSS…”
Hebrews 12:2

The cross is not a means to improve our behavior. The cross is not improvement, it’s crucifixion. On the cross, we die to ourselves.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Scripture goes on:

“Who for the JOY that was set before him…”

The cross ALWAYS leads to joy!

“Weeping may endure for a night,
but JOY comes in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

God uses our willingness to surrender to mature us, but he always turns it around to joy. Oh if people only understood that joy always follows death. Resurrection always follows death.

Is it worth it? It was to Jesus.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus….”
Ephesians 2:5

If we surrender to the cross, we will also be raised up to new life.

“And we know that ALL THINGS
work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

 

 

 

 

 

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