Monday, January 4, 2021

Orange Moon "Who Is This For?"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe… 


"Who Is This For?


    Pain, loss, sorrow, difficulty, and illness must be addressed in the personal sense.  We trust and submit to God for His comfort, help, solution, and healing, as He sees fit.  We seek the Light that "shineth in darkness" in order to be illuminated, and to honor our Lord in dealing with hardship. "Glorify ye the Lord in the fires" (John 1:5; Isaiah 24:15).  However, another path proceeding from the challenges of life also presents itself whenever we are hurting.


    "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation" (II Corinthians 1:3-6).


    Trouble, in whatever form or measure, provides preparation and opportunity to minister to others.  The love of God dwells within born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, meaning that we first and foremost exist for the glory of God and the blessing of people (Romans 5:5).  Thus, while our Heavenly Father works in our challenges regarding our own walk with Him and growth in His grace, He also allows and adminsters our difficulties and His working therein to make possible our ministry to people.  As the Apostle Paul declared, the comfort we receive is the comfort we give out.  "Whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation" (II Corinthians 1:6).


    Fewer more revolutionary truths exist in the pages of God's Word.  Our native tendency regarding trouble involves becoming inward and self-centered.  "Why is this happening to me?" Again, a place exists for this question as we must address our difficulties in the personal sense.  However, what if our challenge also bears much significance regarding our being prepared to honor the Lord Jesus and minister to others?  Regarding his own troubles, the Apostle Paul affirmed, "The things which have happened to me have fallen out rather for the furtherance of the Gospel" (Philippians 1:12).  The presence of the unselfish Christ in Paul's heart resulted in the Apostle's realization that his life was not about himself.  The same Christ lives in every believer's heart, including yours and mine.  We must therefore join the Apostle in knowing that our Father works to turn us inside out, as it were, by wrenching primary focus on ourselves - "Why is this happening to me?" - to the perspective based on the love of Christ: "How can I honor the Lord Jesus and help others because of this challenge?"


    Whenever sharing this Biblical truth, I like to emphasize the special opportunity for prayer that exists in our difficulties.  Certainly it is proper to pray for ourselves.  "I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me out of His holy hill" (Psalm 3:4). However, we face no challenge that is not "common to man" (I Corinthians 10:13).  Countless others are sharing our experience of pain, loss, sorrow, and difficulty.  What if our own bearing of a particular cross actually builds an altar in our hearts to pray for others?  It does.  A primary way we bestow the comfort of God we receive involves asking our Lord to provide the same to others experiencing challenges.  Indeed, intercessory prayer for others offered from our personal altar of challenge greatly enables us to avoid sinking into ourselves when we hurt.  We rather arise and set forth in the others-centered love of Christ to prayerfully use our challenge as the means whereby others are helped.  Again, Paul greatly illuminates us in this holy matter: "So then death worketh in us, but life in you" (II Corinthians 12:9).


    A final point.  Perhaps in Heaven, some fellow citizen of that holy place will encounter us along a glimmering street of gold.  "Do you recall the prayer you prayed for me on January 4, 2021?" they might inquire.  "On that day when you were hurting, you prayed for 'somebody, somewhere' who was also facing great difficulty and pain at the time.  I was that somebody, or at least, I was one of them.  Our Heavenly Father answered your prayer for others, prayed from your altar of pain.  Through your intercession, He led and enabled me to face my challenge."  Certainly, we will join that brother or sister in even more prayer on such an occasion, falling to our knees on a street of gold to praise the God whose love leads us to  emphasize not ourselves, but rather the Lord Jesus and others.  "Why is this happening to me?"  A place exists for the question.  However, a far larger place exists for a far more blessed inquiry, prayed from the indwelling love of our glorious Lord Jesus: "Who is this for?"


"Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

(I Corinthians 10:31)

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

(Philippians 2:4)


Weekly Memory Verse

   "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

(Philippians 2:4)



















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