It’s the thing about a hero that they win in the end.
Having a trustworthy hero can change the way we
face the past, the present and the future if only we
are able to outwait the doubts about him that each
new peril we face creates in our minds and hearts.
This first of 3 brief posts on the theme of patience
comes from Oswald Chambers.
‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10
‘Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a disciple has is not that he will be damned but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for-love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men-will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted. If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God. Remain spiritually tenacious.’
‘Because you have kept my word about patient endurance…’ Revelation 3:10 ESV
From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: (pain) is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world…“
It’s likely that this is the sentence most often quoted from The Problem of Pain by C.S.Lewis. Maybe one sign of the Grace of God at work in us is that we reach a place where
our pain is not just a reminder of who we were in our sins
but also a reminder of who we have become, in Christ. This third brief post on the theme of suffering also comes from The Problem of Pain by C S Lewis.
“The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast…The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God…Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”
From C S Lewis in The Problem of Pain
When it comes to suffering, there is enough to go around without us making martyrs of ourselves. When it comes to
‘the discipline of suffering’ in our life or in the lives of those
we care for, we must watch out for our natural tendency to self-pity and maybe even to sympathize. This second brief post on the theme of suffering is from Oswald Chambers.
‘Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.’
1 Peter 4:19 ESV
‘To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s will even if it means suffering is a very different thing. No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. No saint dare interfere with the discipline of suffering in another saint. The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. The people who do us good are never those who sympathize with us, they always hinder, because sympathy enervates. No one understands a saint but the saint who is nearest to the Saviour. If we accept the sympathy of a saint, the reflex feeling is-‘Well, God is dealing hardly with me.’ That is why Jesus said self-pity was of the devil (see Matthew 16:23). Be merciful to God’s reputation. It is easy to blacken God’s character because God never answers back. He never vindicates Himself. Beware of the thought that Jesus needed sympathy in His earthly life; He refused sympathy from man because He knew far too wisely that no one on earth understood what He was after. He took sympathy from His Father only, and from the angels in heaven. (Cf. Luke 15:10) Note God’s unutterable waste of saints. According to the judgement of the world, God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say-‘God intends me to be here because I am so useful.’ God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is.’
From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest
Whether we are suffering ourselves or find ourselves in the position of being a spectator to the sufferings of others, our first thought, rightly, should be to find a way to end the hurt.
Unless we are a member of the healing professions our first thought should rarely, if ever, be to ask ourselves the whys of suffering, Why me? or, Why them? Of the three men who were spectators to suffering in Jesus’ story, a priest, a Levite and a Samaritan, all may have asked why they should help. Jesus commended the one who did help.This first of three brief posts on the theme of suffering comes from C S Lewis.
“…suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and, for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads.”
C S Lewis in The Problem of Pain