Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Through the Tears"

"Through the Tears"     

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will experience an everlasting eternity without the challenges of this present life.

   "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

   For now, tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain remain with us.  Our Heavenly Father wipes away some tears from our eyes.  We know life in the very cauldron of death.  Joy can be experienced even as we sorrow.  We cry, just as our Lord wept during His earthly sojourn.  And we hurt, sometimes finding relief, and sometimes not.  Life ultimately challenges us on every front despite modern advances that often provide some respite.  The difficult realities of our present existence find us emotionally, physically, or spiritually to keep us mindful that this world is not our home.

   "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:13-16).

    After a service recently, a gentleman who attended made the statement, "I just can't handle pain!"  I've thought a lot about these words since hearing them.  Of course, I fully understand how he feels.  None of us want to hurt, and again, we're blessed to live in a generation where many pains have been ameliorated, if not completely eliminated.  However, we always know challenges lie before us that will stimulate nerve endings, prick the heart, and grieve the soul.  How do we prepare ourselves for that which cannot be avoided?  The answer actually lies in the gentleman's honest confession.  He was right when he said, "I just can't handle pain!"   He was never meant to deal with challenges  as merely an "I".  God allows and administers hurts for the purpose of illuminating us to His involved presence in our lives.  He made us to live as a "We", particularly in our difficulties - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  The same Lord who will ultimately wipe away all tears enables us to live with our tears as we trust and submit ourselves to Him.  Presently, He cannot save us from every pain without violating His larger purposes that require us to know Him in sorrow as well as joy.  "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).  Thus, we anticipate His "very" presence in our pains, expecting that "We" will be able to deal with that which "I" could never manage.

  Tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain are on borrowed time, awaiting complete banishment from our existence.  One day, our Heavenly Father will manifest the perfection of His presence in the elimination of our challenges.  We rightly look forward to that time, even as the book of Revelation closes with the earnest plea of the Apostle, "Even so, come Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20).  For now, we also rightly look forward to our Lord's special dispensation of being with us in our pains.  We see through the tears to His presence and to His promise…

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
(Isaiah 43:2)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1)

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