The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"His Glory, Their Needs"
The godliest among us have times of feeling down and even distraught.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you" (II Corinthians 4:7-12).
The troubles, perplexities, persecutions, and being cast down led the Apostle Paul to experience the same realities of a fallen world we all face. They did not, however, keep Paul from the primary realization of why he existed. Indeed, note two affirmations amid the Apostle's testimony: "For Jesus'sake…. death worketh in us, but life in you."
Paul realized the truth that characterizes every born again believer in the Lord Jesus. We exist for the Savior's glory and the blessing of others. Certainly, our own hearts matter much to God, especially when we suffer. By definition, however, the believer has entrusted his heart to the Lord in confidence of His care. This frees us in both times of blessing and trial to direct our focus upward and outward. Rather than being swallowed up by our thoughts and emotions of sadness, wondering "Why do I feel this way?," we realize God grants opportunities in our challenge to honor Him. Moreover, we realize that others feel what we feel. The love of Christ leads us to focus on them, perhaps first in prayer, and then in presenting ourselves to the Lord as His conduit through whom He might administer His comfort to someone else. "Glorify ye the Lord in the fires… Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (Isaiah 24:15; Philippians 2:4).
No pain finds a place in our hearts that does not also prick the heart of someone else. No tear falls from our face that does not join the pool of others' tears that lies at the Savior's feet. Our hurts matter. They matter to God, and to those who love us. They matter to ourselves also, of course. However, the love of Christ in our trusting heart presses us to make God's glory and the needs of others matter more. Through prayer, and by offering ourselves to our Father for the comfort of others, we walk in the footsteps of our blessed Lord. Or, more importantly, He walks in our footsteps.
"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, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation."
(II Corinthians 1:3-6)
Weekly Memory Verse
He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.