Many times, we believe that God is our God for as long as everything is nice or for as long as everyone is nice to us. Yet, God is a God of endurance. God is love and love endures. In the midst of disappointments, sufferings, confusions, we need to be brought back and be reasserted of the love of God for the whole world. His love for us alone, Christ Jesus, is our strength to endure.
Yes, I’ve been preprogrammed since childhood to credit God for what I consider to be the good things. When things fall within my expectations, I’m definitely the first to whisper a quick prayer, “Thank you, God…Thank you, Jesus!”
But in my mind, I never thought of crediting God for the seemingly perilous journey that led to the great outcome because religion had taught me to credit God for the things I consider to be good and credit the devil for the things I consider to be bad. Whether I call it good or bad, God is the sole judge. He calls everything into being to cause his glory demonstrated in immeasurable proportions. He called his Son, Jesus to the cross, not to credit the devil for mankind’s suffering but to glorify His love to the whole world. All the glory is to God. All the glory is to God.
When hard times come, grace, God’s grace, teaches us to stop crediting the devil. Grace teaches us to sit and learn. The Holy Spirit residing inside of our hearts, deepest chamber of our soul, teaches us to be quiet and listen. He teaches us to be still and rest. He comforts us by serving us the strength that no mind or human effort can conceive.
Had we not gone through pains and sorrows, heaven would have seemed unnecessary. Had we not suffered, we would have seen no need for healing.
When Christ said the field is ripe for harvest, he meant the world had suffered enough to actually long for the healing that he has brought. He meant the world is thirsty enough to be hearing the good news that satisfies the soul of man. Yes, he did say to ask God to send workers to harvest those souls. Yet, the Bible bears no record of any of the disciple uttering a prayer of such, either silently or audibly.
Instead, what the Bible bears record of is that in Matthew 10, Jesus summoned the disciples and empowered them with the Holy Spirit to go and heal, to go and set free, to go and blast out the good news to the ears of the hearts of all who have been made thirsty for a new hope, a new reality, an encouraging tiding by the hardships of life in this world.
As it was written,
“Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.” (Isaiah 59:15-16)
So his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. Jesus the righteousness of God, Jesus the love of God, Jesus the measure of God toward mankind and all of creation, sustains God.
O, I know you don’t want to suffer, and neither do I. But I’ve never learned anything new when things only go as I had expected. I’ve never learned any new shade of the wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, unless I had been made to go through the journey of disappointments and confusions and rejections. Jesus is the outcome. Jesus, he is the outcome of God.
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (Hebrews 12:4-12)
We don’t celebrate the journey of hardship because it’s like reliving the pains and sufferings of the past, but we thank God for it, we credit Him for such journey. What we do celebrate instead is the outcome: us set free by God, comforted by God, strengthened by God by his Spirit dwelling in our hearts reassuring our spirit that even in our death, the death of all the falsely founded hope we ever had, He is still in control.